In Europe, China, and other developed automobile are hot zones for electric cars. African is staying awake and has started following. Several issues have been discussed, such as:
- Growing used EV imports to create a supply of more affordable vehicles on the continent
- Working with OEMs in India and China to bring smaller and more affordable EVs
- Accelerating the conversions of old ICE vehicles already on the continent to electric
Legacy OEMs that already have a presence on the continent have not expressed any interest in bringing EVs to Africa anytime soon. The majority struggle to meet demand in their home and traditional markets. It doesn't look like Africa will be a priority anytime soon. OEMs such as Hyundai are getting serious on the continent by assembling the Hyundai Kona and the Ionic in Nigeria and Ethiopia. Aside from Hyundai, Jaguar, and BMW South Africa, it's been pretty quiet on the continent. Converting millions of old ICE vehicles on the continent could be a catalyst in the EV transition.
Arke Technologies of Ghana wants to help accelerate the adoption of EVs and distributed renewable energy in Ghana. Founded by Nana Arkorful and his father Abeku Arkorful, Arke Technologies has already started an EV conversion school in Accra, Ghana, which has attracted over 60 people. Mr. Abeku Arkorful is well known in the Ghana automotive sector, having worked on vehicles for over 40 years. Mr. Abeku Arkorful has over those 40 years specialized in "Pimp My Ride" style luxury customization and optimization. He is also responsible for servicing and maintaining some of Ghana's most prominent figures' car collection. He also services Tesla Model X vehicles imported from North America by several families in Ghana.
Mr. Arkorful began exploring the benefits of EVs several years ago and decided to convert an Alfa Romeo. A 17 kWh lithium-ion battery pack now powers his Alfa Romeo. This Alfa has received a lot of interest in Ghana, which motivated him to start the EV conversion workshop and the training academy. Nana Arkorful, the COO of Arke Global, studied physics at Morehouse College and is a renewable energy adopter. Nana says his passion for EVs was influenced by playing with racing cars when he was younger. "I would always imagine myself driving inside, making the turns and reaching top speeds. Today, we have full-sized BEVs, similar to the small RC cars we all loved, that are changing the way we think about transportation."
Nana focuses on operations, R&D, product architecture, and optimization, and raising the capital to scale up the training school and workshop. His brother Kweku is also helping with the capital raise. The training school's mission is to enable as many people as possible to build a skilled local workforce to support Ghana's conversion industry. As they ramp up the conversion business, one of Arke Technologies' significant objectives is to lower ownership cost and reduce the OPEX costs for business owners, especially fleet operators in the public transport industry. So far, the local authorities have been supportive, and Arke Technologies didn't have any issues registering its Alfa Romeo for road use.
Source: Arke Technologies Opens Up An EV Conversion School www.cleantechnica.com/2021/02/15/arke-technologies-opens-up-an-ev-conversion-school-workshop-in-ghana/ By Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai