Electric Vehicles on Ethiopian Roads

3 min read

Mass production of practical electric vehicles has reached a stage where simple coordinated investments can make it happen. But what about Ethiopia?

Ethiopia’s story of modern vehicles has nearly the same age as the car history itself. The first car was gifted to then Ethiopian ruler, Emperor Menelik II in 1908. He became the first African to drive a vehicle. After his reign, Emperor Hailesilassie took over the country in 1930. The emperor grew passionate about cars. The emperor was said to have had more than 200 luxury vehicles. To this day, Ethiopia is highly dependent on imports. There is no production in the country, but massive improvements are taking place in assembling cars. The recent plantation of the Hyundai Motors assembly line is a near-production venture. 

This might be one factor in our financial poverty. But these days, we have factories such as Marathon Motors and Bishoftu that are well apt for assembling vehicles from the ground up. Since our country is rich in water and hydro-power is the main source of power and has one of the cheapest electricity cost in the continent, focusing on electric car production will give the country the advantage of entering the world race in vehicle production. Current electric cars can be charged with a simple home outlet within 3 hours max and give a range of 333 km. This is more than enough for a daily activity including giving transport services. If charging stations can be planted in various areas and routes, considering the fact that Ethiopia has one of the cheapest electricity on the continent; electric vehicles seem ideal to Ethiopia.

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