Europe’s New EV Incentives Could Actually Help Africa

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Norway has led the way in really promoting electric vehicles. The results of Norway’s progressive policies are clear to see in the plug-in vehicle market share in new vehicle sales. A lot of European countries now also have very generous incentives in a bid to encourage people to switch to electric as part of stimulus packages to boost economies hard hit by the coronavirus-induced slowdown.

Image courtesy of Renault, Renault Zoe

In France, incentives for consumers can get up to 12,000 euros, meaning that a €32,000 car in the best-case scenario will end up being €20,000. In Germany, some dealerships are offering very attractive lease options for the Renault Zoe. For outright purchases, a brand new Renault Zoe now costs about €19,900 in Germany after the recent incentives of up to €10,000, while a one-year used ZOE is only slightly cheaper on average at €17,250. These incentives are so good, some consumers who would normally look in the used vehicle market are opting to just get new EVs instead.

This has resulted in some used EVs sitting at dealer lots for months, with the exception of Teslas. This has been attributed to the fact that even older Teslas have much better specs (range, etc.) than several older models from other brands whose earlier generation models have been eclipsed in terms of range and performance by newer generations of those same models or similar. This is probably one of the reasons why used Telsas have been shown to have the lowest drop in value.

This incentive-induced phenomenon in Germany that has resulted in some used EV models sitting in dealerships for months is probably temporary, but it does present an opportunity for both African used car dealers and German used car dealers.

West African and North African states use left-hand drive vehicles just like Germany, and could find a new source of reasonably priced used EVs in the short to medium term. They better start taking advantage of the current situation which may not last long.

Renault Zoe in UK, image courtesy of Renault

As Dr. Maximilian Holland commented in one of our recent articles, “the long term value of BEVs (and PHEVs) is quickly being recognized now in many adopter countries (e.g. much of Europe) which is keeping demand and residual prices very high.” We have seen this starting to happen in the UK already with prices of used EVs increasing in UK.

by Hideki Machida.Anheuser-Busch InBev’s South African Breweries
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s South African Breweries, image by Hideki Machida.

With demand for EVs sky high in Europe and other traditional markets for OEMs, Africa is not likely to be on the radar for them. A look at Africa’s low motorization levels probably has them thinking the market is a bit small. This then presents an opportunity another way of helping catalyze adoption of EVs in Africa.

Image by Remeredzai Kuhudzai

We have explored several ways African countries could join the EV revolution. One of the quickest was is to increase the penetration of used EVs imported into the continent. EVs sitting on parking lots at dealerships for months in Germany could find a new home in Africa, solving a big problem for both German used car dealers and African used car dealers looking for EVs.

Image courtesy of BLUEPLUG.

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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 754 posts and counting. See all posts by Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai