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Tesla: could the Electric car thrive in Africa?

October 1, 2021 By Chukky Derrick

In recent times in lights of the rise of popular founders like Elon Musk and even before that the transportation industry globally has been ripe for a well-known disruption: The Electric car.

Apart from the popular entrepreneur’s Boring Company which plans to install transportation tunnels under the ocean there’s also his popular company which manufactures and sells electric cars, ‘Tesla’

The production and sale of electric cars have risen globally as studies show that sales have risen exponentially in the year 2020 and before that it has been a popular thing in countries like China and Japan. According to HIS Markit the registration of Electric cars (EVs) doubled up to 1.4million globally and is even bound to increase in the later decades. One particular reason is due to the efforts to check climate change due to emission of fossil fuels which are a well known by product of vehicles that run on gasoline. Programs like the Paris climate accord and notable persons like Greta Thunberg have been pushing for a while, the need to embark on a greener earth. Countries in Africa which is generally a hot continent suffer terribly from the harmful effects of fossil emissions and the likes. Pushing for a change in modes of energy generation with lights to the topic of discussion is of course a welcome development but the question is just how feasible is it to comprehend as Africa in all the terms is still underdeveloped despite its booming markets and raw materials.

Electric Car
Greta Thunberg | Source : Britannica

The effect of the gasoline car on climate is profound, during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic induced global lockdown. Though sources like the BBC, says that the lockdown had ‘negligible’ effect on green house gases worldwide according to environmental sources. There were still some very notable changes like for one, the density of aerial smog in China reducing heavily because cars were no longer running on the roads.

The Electric car though popular globally, strikes an important chord when in lights of Africa as to with its scalability and success. In the year 2020 on the 13th of November the Governor of Lagos state, Nigeria Babajide Sanwo-Olu unveiled the first Nigerian electric car called Hyundai Kuna which is to mark the commissioning of the Lagos-Badagry express way. Questions rose as to the scalability of the new innovation which in no question would be very good for the environment but also which raises some serious eyebrows. Though yes countries with the fastest GDP growth are in Africa regardless of the continent’s persistent lack of electricity which is a major player in lights of manufacturing. Still, countries like Rwanda have managed to lure investors like VolksWagen to set up shop in the country.

Scaling of technology in Africa as a whole could be noted to be an arduous task except of course you are in the popularly dominating fintech industry which has taken the continent by storm in lights with the recent acquiring of Paystack by popular payments company Stripe for 200 million USD. In the manufacturing industry and in the general African economy one major growth is that of lack of electricity. In this scenario it was even more called out with regards to the unveiling of a car that required charging to run in a country where citizens found it difficult to power their smartphones, Questions like what means or method would be used to recharge the vehicles? Would people be made to rely on generators as that would indirectly be the default of the former initial setting.

Africa is a ripe and ready harvest for technical disruption.

It just needs to get a few things right.

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