Tata Tiago & Citroen C3 EVs Are Now Available In Malawi!

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Sky Energy, a clean energy engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm based in Blantyre, Malawi, has expanded its operations to include the importation and retailing of electric vehicles. The first batch of EVs are already available for consumers to buy in Malawi. The first two models are the Tata Tiago EV and the Citroen C3 EV, both built in India. Malawi, just like most countries in East and South Africa, drives on the left side of the road, and hence, requires right-hand-drive (RHD) vehicles.

The Tata Tiago in India has several models, including a 24 kWh battery version with a range of over 250 km and a 7.2 kW charger, according to Tata. Sky Energy Malawi will be adding the Tata Punch EV to its range of products in Malawi. The Tata Tiago EV starts from about $24,000 in Malawi.

The car market in Malawi is currently dominated by used vehicles imported from Japan, and to some extent from the United Kingdom. As the EV sector in Japan has not been advancing as fast as other non-RHD markets such as China, that means the supply of good EVs to countries like Malawi is limited. Which is why I was excited to see companies like Tata, Citroen, and Mahindra start to become more active in India. India could be a good source market for RHD EVs for countries in East and Southern Africa.

The good news is that Malawi has recently removed import duties that were previously levied on electric cars and also on electric motorcycles. This will help make electric cars more affordable. Malawi now has a good opportunity to leapfrog into the age of electric mobility due to its extremely low motorisation, provided the right kinds of electric vehicles can be availed at significant scale in the country.

It is quite a small market, with about 400,000 vehicles in total for a country with a population of about 20 million people. Over 80% of Malawians live in rural areas. Malawi has one of the lowest levels of electricity access in the world, with less than 20% of the population having access to electricity. Several programs are currently underway and also in the pipeline to increase electricity access.

However, for those that have access, electric mobility can make a significant impact on their lives. Electricity tariffs are quite low, at less than 7 USD cents/kWh, and switching to electric can help the country save on scarce foreign currency. Malawi spends about $500 million every year on petrol and diesel imports, and for a country facing severe foreign currency shortages, reducing this import bill will be critical. Malawi currently has excess solar generation during the day which could be diverted to charge some electric cars whilst people work in their offices or have their cars parked whilst they go about their general business. Malawi is a small market, but it still has a lot of potential. We will be following developments in this EV market closely to see how things evolve. Every EV displacing an ICE vehicle counts!

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