The transport sector is one of the major contributors of emissions. Therefore, we need to electrify everything in the transport sector as soon as practically possible. The passenger vehicle market is one area that is a low hanging fruit. There has been great progress in the quest to electrify the passenger vehicle over the last 10 years in countries like Norway. The market share of electric vehicles is also growing in the larger markets such as China, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other places.
The last decade has shown us that the passenger vehicle segment is quite easy to electrify and just needs commitments from the worlds OEMs. For example, in the United Kingdom, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says that there are now over 150 plug-in models available in the UK, accounting for around one in five new cars sold this year! A further 50 models are expected to be launched by the end of 2022, bringing the number of models to 200. With 200 plug-in model options to choose from and the ever increasing cost of petrol and diesel, consumers in the UK have never had a better opportunity to switch to electric. Of course, the long wait times for some of the popular models mean that they may have to wait a bit longer than usual for their preferred EV. Quite a few models are starting to report shorter lead times and customers don’t have to wait as long as before.
We really need to electrify small passenger vehicles as well as buses all over the world and not just in the developed world. One company that is taking the lead in taking electric passenger vehicles to most parts of the world is BYD. BYD is ramping up production of electric vehicles powered by its revolutionary Blade battery. Last month, BYD’s factories produced 220,107 NEVs compared with 81,575 NEVs in October 2021. So far in 2022, BYD has produced 1,411,690 NEVs, according to a company announcement. This is probably why BYD now has more room to ship its EVs to more markets around the world than other OEMs from North America or Europe. BYD is literally taking its electric cars to the world and it seems like we get an announcement of an entry to a new market every week now from BYD, which is good for catalyzing the adoption of electric vehicles.
Mongolia, Cambodia, India, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia are some of the markets that BYD has announced recently that it is adding several models, including the critically acclaimed Atto 3. BYD already had a presence in some of those markets and it is good to see that it is adding new models to those markets. Now, BYD has just signed a partnership with the LEAL Group, a major automotive dealership in Mauritius. The Leal Group is already the supplier and importer of BMW, MINI, Rolls Royce, Renault, KIA, Mitsubishi, GWM, and Haval vehicles in Mauritius.
It’s really good to see BYD is now present in another market in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Already, one could buy BYD passenger and commercial vehicles in Zimbabwe. The distributors of BYD in Zimbabwe also have a presence in Zambia. I hope we will soon see BYD vehicles in Zambia as well as all the 16 Member States. The SADC Member states are; Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
A recent study titled “Enabling Southern Africa’s Transition to a Low-Carbon Electricity System” under the Climate Compatible Growth Programme COP27 Policy Brief Series, showcased pathways to enabling the transition to a high clean energy electricity sector with up to 80% of total generation coming from renewables by 2040 in the SADC region. Increasing the penetration of electric vehicles in the SADC region and at the same time working towards increasing the share of renewables in this region will be a game changer for the region. It will create new industries in the region and unlock much needed new employment opportunities in a region battling high unemployment.
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