Since the release of the Tesla model S in 2012 till date, the perception of electric vehicles (EV) has completely changed the world of automotive technology, and with that start ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles are possibly the most threatened species in the extinction table. The best news from all of this is that it will keep getting better and better.
One critical point for the adoption of EVs in Africa is a possible adoption mechanism that gives EV a fast paced adoption especially in countries with poor electric power supply. About 12 countries in Africa have the best access to the power grid, Nigerian as an example has 56 percent of the population being able to use electricity in their homes according to World Bank data. Even if this does not translate to constant power supply.
A constant question and discussion being raised on the issue of availability and supply of electricity for charging EVs has made the situation a case of a knowledge problem rather than anything else. A standard electric car (60kWh battery) takes just under 8 hours to charge from empty-to-full with a 7kW charging point, which for most users will not be the case, as we cannot assume that your mobile phone is always recharged from 0% every single day.
The current drive for net zero emissions, and a hard 2050 deadline for Europe is a significant message for other continents to adopt. EVs are and will play a significant role in reaching such milestones.
Possible EV adoption solutions (case example Nigeria)
Gas and Petrol stations: Most petrol stations are equipped to run on 24 hour power supply to keep their pumps running, and even when not pumping they must keep running power. Placing EV chargers in the vicinity of their stations will give EV owners a chance to charge their vehicles, and this model works because superchargers can charge up a vehicle in a few hours (depends on charger installed). And since many already have wide spaces for vehicle parking (usually empty) this helps them put it to good use.
image source: silverbird tv
Shopping Malls and Event Centers: Shopping malls and event centers are also open spaces for the deployment of EV charging stations as these locations are suited to charging. In the largest states in terms of economic progress within African countries, many locations like these are great locations and can serve needs as well as providing additional revenue for parties involved especially private companies who provide this as a service.
Workplaces and Car Parking spaces. These will also be suitable locations for the deployment of charging stations as many workers leave their vehicles idle between work opening times and closing times. This period of non-use of vehicles is adequate for charging if chargers are placed in the parking spots of the companies and businesses involved.
Source: northern times
The availability of charging stations will play a role in making all these happen, and internal and external solutions can easily be resourced once demand increases to specific levels of growth. Private companies can move into the space creating multiple business models that will create a new industry, skill set and employment opportunities, through servicing and consulting firms being created. Mobile and web applications for charging station locations can generate revenue for those interested in that business model, concierge services for private charging are also primed business models.
Further to the adoption of EVs will lead to the adoption of renewable energy sources and when demand increases, chances are that prices will fall drastically across many quarters of renewable energy adoption. In recent years, solar power and renewable energy sources are being adopted in many African nations, as the abundance of sunlight and open skies for most parts of the year in most locations of the continent are gradually switching to these not so new forms of energy generation as it provides 24/7 power supplies as long as it functions and at specific scales of implementation.
The benefit for government can be far reaching as the inclusion of EVs in the economy will serve as a multiple edged sword by increasing the opportunity for private sector to assist in providing stable power supplies, increasing employment, reducing its carbon footprint and diversifying and shaping the economy to be relevant in industry 4.0.
2020 has come, and it is primed to usher a new decade and fast paced adoption of automotive innovation.