Driving electric in many African countries is a whole lot cheaper than driving ICE. Ghana, like many other African countries, has a very low motorization rate compared to most parts of the developed world. This presents a huge opportunity for another leapfrog moment where consumers can jump straight into the world of EVs, bypassing the ICE Age.
The sticker price of most new EVs is a potential barrier to adoption around the world and is an even bigger issue in Africa where the majority of cars brought to the continent are used vehicles. A lot of education is still needed to get consumers to join the transition to electromobility. CleanTechnica’s TCO work can be a good place to start to get consumers to appreciate the benefits of switching to EV’s.
The EV scene in Ghana is shaping up quite nicely, and with all that excess electricity generation capacity it is one of the best places in Africa to be driving electric. A study by AfricanEV also shows just how good driving electric in Ghana can be.
It costs just $0.77 to drive a Hyundai Ionic over 100 kilometers in Ghana. Doing the same 100 km in a Toyota Corolla would cost you 9 times more at $7.18 for the trip. To lower that potential barrier for EV adoption, SolarTaxi Ghana is now offering EV leasing services.
“The leasing model is one of the models designed by SolarTaxi to accelerate Ghana towards green and affordable transportation services. We currently provide rental and outright sales to clients. There are 3 models available for monthly hires. These are the SUV, Hatchback and the Sedan,” says Jorge Appiah, SolarTaxi’s CEO.
Here are the three models on offer:
- Hatchback: Monthly rental of Ghs 800.00 ($140), Distance per charge 400km (NEDC), Max speed of 115km/h, Charging time of 4 hours
- Sedan: Monthly rental of Ghs 900.00 ($160), Distance per charge 302km (NEDC), Max speed of 120km/h, Charging time of 6 hours
- SUV: Monthly rental of Ghs 1000.00 ($175), Distance per charge 401km (NEDC), Max speed of 120km/h, Charging time of 8 hours
How do they get such awesome monthly lease rates? In a very clever move, SolarTaxi didn’t go for the higher sticker price popular BEVs from Europe or America such as the Hyundai Ionics (which are not that easy to get) or the Tesla Model 3. Instead they opted for the always improving and more affordable Chinese EVs.
For example, the $160 per month sedan is actually the JAC iEV7L pure electric vehicle. This JAC sedan has a decent 35.2 kWh battery that’s good for about 302 km / 189 miles (NEDC). The battery pack has an energy density of 140.24Wh/kg. Its drivetrain produces 50 kW (67 hp) power and 215 Nm of torque. Using the very optimistic NEDC driving cycle, the energy consumption is 13.4 kWh/100km and it will definitely come in cheaper to do that 100 km trip or at least match the Hyundai Ionic.
SolarTaxi is banking on this cheap cost to “fuel” the car, as well as the savings from the low maintenance costs associated with driving an EV to get Ghanaians driving EVs. SolarTaxi’s minimum lease contract is for just one month! This flexibility will certainly appeal to consumers in a market where standard vehicle financing options are as widely available as in other parts of the continent like South Africa.
“Leasing of cars has already begun. The electric cars are delivered to customers on a pre-order basis. We already have 9 cars in operation in Accra and Kumasi. The second batch of delivery commences in the first week of August 2020.”
Just like we saw in Kenya, EVs and PV systems are a match made in heaven. SolarTaxi has set up three solar charging stations across the country and is in the process of rolling out more solar powered charging stations. By leveraging the energy from the sun and innovativeness of the shared economy, SolarTaxi aims to reduce carbon emissions while providing low cost mobility service delivery and related ecosystem services to individuals and businesses across Ghana and eventually across the continent.
The 2019 National Household Electricity Access Rate for Ghana was 82.5%, so there is no shortage of electricity to charge up the EV revolution. 60% of this electricity, though, is from thermal power plants. So, it’s really good to see SolarTaxi prioritizing solar as its main source of electricity to offset those CO2 emissions from the thermal power plants.