Driving Electric In Africa Is A Whole Lot Cheaper Than Driving ICE: Part 2

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According to the UNEP (2018) Africa Used Vehicle Report, annual vehicle sales had been increasing rapidly, at over 10% in most African countries. 90% of these vehicles are used vehicles from Asia and Europe. A few countries like Egypt, South Africa, Sudan, and Morocco have a total ban in place stopping used vehicles from being sold in those markets.

One of the key outcomes from the report is that perhaps one of the best ways to reduce emissions going forward is not to restrict the importation of used vehicles but to simply shift to cleaner and safer used vehicles. Used vehicles tend to come in at price points that are more affordable for the target market in most of these African countries.

BYD e2
ICE killer BYD e2, image courtesy BYD.

There are now over 7 million EVs on the road worldwide, so the inventory of used cars is growing all the time. We are also starting to see some more affordable brand new EVs entering some developed markets that could also eventually find themselves in Africa. Here are 7 affordable ICE killers we think should definitely come to Africa as brand new imports — or even better, get them assembled in Africa.

Great Wall R1 EV
ICE killer Great Wall R1 EV, image courtesy Great Wall Motors.

AfricaNEV looked at the costs of “fueling” several EVs vs some equivalent popular ICE brands in 23 countries. Using electricity tariffs and petrol prices in each of the 23 countries, they sought to share data showcasing how these costs vary across the continent. The study does give us some interesting insights into how these costs vary across the various countries from South, East, West, and North Africa. The study reveals some very nice places to drive electric based on the current utility tariffs.

Hyundai Ioniq electric car
Hyundai Ioniq, image courtesy of Hyundai

These tariffs can be as low as $0.014/kWh in Angola, $0.03/kWh Egypt, and $0.04/kWh in Algeria. From these figures  we can clearly see that driving an EV in Angola is basically driving for free! In Part 1, we used the costs of driving the icon of EVs, the Tesla Model 3, to show just how much cheaper it is to drive EVs. In this follow-up, we expand the list to include a comparison of popular and more affordable traditional ICE brands, such as the Toyota Corolla. On the premium side we include the Mercedes Benz GLE. As discussed in one of our recent articles, electric SUVs could be an important segment in Africa.

Driving the 38.3 kWh Hyundai Ioniq over 100 km in Angola would only cost you $0.21! Yes, $0.21. In Egypt it would cost you just $0.46 and in Algeria it could cost you $0.61. The Hyundai Ionic has won critical acclaim for its exceptional efficiency. With its consumption of around 153 Wh/km it is surely one to get in these countries. Looking at an equivalent ICE car, the Toyota Corolla would cost you a whopping eleven times more at $2.40 in Angola to drive the same distance. It would also cost you four times more at $2.60 in Algeria and nine times more at $4.01 in Egypt. 

Looking at the all new Mercedes EQC 4MATIC, driving 100 km in Angola would cost just $0.30 at 216Wh/km. Yes, 30 cents to drive that distance in an SUV for 100 km. The ICE cousin, the GLE 350, would cost $2.98 to drive the same distance in Angola. In Algeria, the EQC would need just $0.86 compared to $2.10 for the GLE. In Egypt the 100 km trip in the EQC would be around $0.65 compared with $4.56 for the GLE. Angola, Algeria, and Egypt are of course oil producing countries where petrol and diesel are very cheap, but EVs still work out to be a whole lot cheaper.

The savings work out to be even better in countries where fossil fuels are mostly imported, like in South Africa. The 100 km trip in the GLE would set you back $12.20 compared to just $1.49 for the EQC. South Africa just needs to really look into reducing those high import duties and taxes for EVs

Incentives have had a massive impact on EV adoption in Norway, and it’s really good to see Norway leading the way. African countries need to follow Norway’s lead and scale up the introduction of similar incentives. A lot of them rely on imports for all their fossil fuel needs.  Zimbabwe, for example, is struggling to find fuel for the more than 1.5 million ICE vehicles on its roads, but does not have incentives for EVs at the moment. Surely it would make more sense for Zimbabwe to be at the forefront of incentivizing EV adoption to solve its fuel crisis.

Image: Africa’s highest mileage BMW i3. Shaun Maidment’s i3 has done 252,000 km (Courtesy of evCrowdRoute)

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai

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.

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has 761 posts and counting. See all posts by Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai