African vehicles electrification – 2 and 3 wheeler segments first to go electric

EY Report titled 'Standing up Africa s EV ecosystem - who will drive the charge?' indicates that two and three wheeler vehicles will be first in EV adoption.

With two and three wheelers widely used both for mobility and cargo transportation, it is indicated that these should be the first to be marked African vehicles electrification. Africa is the world’s largest two wheeler markets, and also a leading three wheeler market. The report titled ‘Standing up Africa s EV ecosystem – who will drive the charge?’ will see electrification of two and three wheelers followed by intra city buses, corporate cabs and government fleet, with the right incentives to propel growth.

Fleet services are touted to be being early adopters in African vehicles electrification based on the workings of electric vehicles over combustion engine vehicles. Fleet services are keen on total cost of ownership (TCO) over vehicle purchase based on preference.

The truck segment is also marked for African vehicles electrification considering it follows fixed routes and longer distances since shared vehicles and fleets offer better value due to higher volumes allowing for better achievement of scale. However, high cost of e-buses due to heavier and higher priced batteries could pose a problem. The other challenge is lower number of community charging stations in Africa. Road blocks in the form of longer charging time, high battery cost, range anxieties and battery swapping have to be taken into account for electrification of two and three wheelers and e-buses and trucks.

The number of electric vehicles in Africa is limited and is much less as compared to ICE vehicles. The range of EVs is less, upto 140kms as compared to 250-300kms for the ICE models. Charging stations across Africa are also limited to just 206 numbers which will have to be scaled up significantly if EVs are set to come to the fore.

Rakesh Batra, Partner and Africa Automotive Sector Leader, EY said, “The growth of EVs in Africa will witness differential growth patterns across cities, vehicle segments, vehicle applications, etc. In terms of vehicle segment and applications, shared vehicles and fleets will offer a better value proposition for all stakeholders – manufacturers, as higher volumes can help them achieve scale as well as fleet operators because the TCO of EVs is lower than ICEVs. The current cost dynamics of an EV used for commercial purposes are quite comparable with TCO of an EV merely 12% more than that of a comparable ICEV. This would further change in favor of EVs as post the implementation of BS 6 norms, the TCO of an electric car is expected to be 4% lower for a commercial user.”