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7 ICE Killers We Would Really Like To See In Africa To Help End The ICE Age!

Accelerating EV adoption is one of the best ways to reduce carbon emissions, since the transport sector is one of the major contributors of carbon emissions. We recently looked at how increasing the penetration of EVs in Kenya can also help improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions.

Accelerating EV adoption is one of the best ways to reduce carbon emissions, since the transport sector is one of the major contributors of carbon emissions. We recently looked at how increasing the penetration of EVs in Kenya can also help improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions.

When most people go out to look for a car, the most important factor is the price. That’s why in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) over 90% of cars registered every year are used vehicles from Asia and Europe. The majority of these vehicles are over 8 years old. There are now over 7 million EVs on the roads worldwide, which is why we think that this could be an opportunity for used EVs to start coming into Africa in larger volumes to displace a significant number of these used internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

A major stumbling block for people who were looking into acquiring EVs has always been the large difference in sticker prices between a lot of EVs and comparable ICE vehicles. The Renault ZOE ZE 50 R110 with a 54.7 kWh battery that is good for about 300 km starts at around £26,000 ($32,100). It is really quite expensive compared to the ICE Renault Clio which is around £15,000 ($18,500). But if you are looking for a decent practical car to get you from A to B quite comfortably and you don’t mind missing out on some “bells and whistles,” there are now a few decent all-electric vehicles available at decent prices.

Here, we’re looking at 7 new EVs we think, if launched in most emerging markets as well as in the traditional key markets (in decent numbers and at a price point not too far off from their current pricing in their source markets), could be just what the doctor ordered — ICE killers!

One of these is the new Renault K-ZE, which we recently showed could be a game changer when you compare it to 11 brand new ICE vehicles that are in the same vehicle segment in South Africa.

Renault K-ZE, courtesy Renault.

Continuing this analysis, we are adding 6 other EVs that could be real ICE killers across Africa at current pricing. The impact of these 7 ICE killers will be even better in countries like Kenya, for example, where a lot of these vehicles are over 5 years old with CO2 emissions in the region of 181 g/km.

7 Hot ICE Killers and ICE Vehicles in Comparable Vehicle Segments

Changan Benni EV, courtesy Changan.

It’s been 10 years since the Nissan Leaf was launched as the first real volume EV. It has gone on to sell over 400,000 units. The compact EVs and compact electric SUVs listed above show just how much progress has been made since then. The first-generation Leaf had a 24 kWh battery pack and you could buy one for $35,000. You could get about 140 km in it depending on how you drive. It had an 80 kW motor, which makes it more powerful than most of the compact EVs above. But if you are looking to get around comfortably from A to B for a third of that Leaf’s price and get about 60 to 70 km more range, then the small EVs listed above are definitely worthwhile options.

BYD e2, courtesy BYD.

A lot of these OEMs like Great Wall Motors, Geely, and Tata already have a presence in a lot of African and other emerging markets.

Tata Nexon EV

Tata Nexon EV, courtesy Tata Motors.


Great Wall pickup trucks are quite popular in Southern Africa. The Ora R1 would not be presenting any risk of cannibalising other Great Wall models in this market, as their trucks and Haval models are in different segments. Legacy automakers have been very slow in pushing EVs outside of markets where strict emissions policies have forced them to roll out some “compliance models.”

Great Wall R1 EV, courtesy Great Wall Motors.

It could be a “Great” opportunity for Great Wall Motors to dominate this segment with the Ora R1, and Usain Bolt rival to ICE vehicles in the class. These EVs definitely offer a better ride quality thanks to their lower centre of gravity from the battery pack — a lot of small ICE hatchbacks certainly feel a bit light on the highway.

These 7 EVs would definitely offer much better value for consumers in African markets than the usual stock of used imports. And when volumes pick up, the OEMs can move to assemble the EVs in Africa, bringing in much needed investment and job opportunities.

BYD Yuan EV, courtesy BYD.

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.


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