EV Manufacturing Shows Signs of Promise in Africa.

EV Manufacturing Shows Signs of Promise in Africa.

Editor Wakesho

Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturing is gaining momentum in Africa, reflecting a global shift towards sustainable transportation.

As the continent grapples with urbanization and environmental challenges, EV production presents a promising solution for reducing carbon emissions and fostering economic growth.

Several African countries are now positioning themselves as key players in the EV market, leveraging local resources and innovative strategies to spearhead this green revolution.

Rising Interest and Investment

Interest in EV manufacturing in Africa is being driven by both domestic and international stakeholders.

Governments across the continent are implementing policies to encourage the adoption and production of electric vehicles.

For example, Rwanda has eliminated import duties on electric vehicles and EV parts, while Kenya has introduced tax incentives for EV manufacturers.

International investments are also flowing into the continent.

Global automotive giants and startups alike are recognizing the potential of the African market and are partnering with local firms to establish manufacturing plants.

These collaborations are not only bringing advanced technology to Africa but are also creating jobs and boosting local economies.

Key Players and Projects

Several notable projects and companies are leading the charge in EV manufacturing in Africa:

  1. Mobius Motors (Kenya): Mobius Motors is a Kenyan startup focused on producing affordable, durable vehicles designed for the African market. The company has announced plans to venture into electric vehicle manufacturing, leveraging its experience in producing robust cars suited for local conditions.
  2. Katanka Group (Ghana): The Katanka Group, a Ghanaian company, has been developing electric vehicles tailored for local use. Their vehicles are designed to address the unique transportation needs of Ghanaians, with a focus on affordability and durability.
  3. Volkswagen (Rwanda): Volkswagen has established a vehicle assembly plant in Kigali, Rwanda, where it is producing electric cars as part of its global strategy to increase EV production. This plant is a significant step towards building a sustainable automotive industry in Africa.

Notable EV Startups in Africa

  1. ARC Ride (Kenya)

Overview: ARC Ride focuses on providing electric two- and three-wheelers for last-mile delivery services in urban areas.

Key Innovations: The company offers a comprehensive solution that includes vehicle leasing, charging infrastructure, and maintenance services.

Impact: ARC Ride aims to reduce the carbon footprint of urban deliveries while offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional gasoline-powered bikes.

2.Aceleron (Rwanda)

Overview: Aceleron focuses on sustainable energy storage solutions, including advanced lithium battery technology for electric vehicles.

Key Innovations: The company’s batteries are designed to be easily serviced, upgraded, and recycled, extending their lifecycle.

Impact: Aceleron’s technology supports the adoption of electric vehicles by providing reliable and sustainable battery solutions.

3.DriveElectric (South Africa)

Overview: DriveElectric promotes the adoption of electric vehicles by providing a comprehensive ecosystem, including leasing options, charging infrastructure, and after-sales support.

Key Innovations: The startup offers a range of EV models and has partnered with various stakeholders to expand the charging network in South Africa.

Impact: By making EVs more accessible, DriveElectric is driving the shift towards sustainable transportation in South Africa.

Solar Taxi (Ghana)

Overview: Solar Taxi provides electric vehicles, including cars and motorbikes, powered by solar energy.

Key Innovations: The company integrates solar charging stations to power its fleet, reducing reliance on the grid and ensuring sustainable energy use.

Impact: Solar Taxi aims to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation in Ghana while promoting the use of renewable energy.

5.Ampersand (Rwanda)

Overview: Ampersand is developing electric motorcycles for the African market, focusing on affordability and practicality.

Key Innovations: The startup provides battery swap stations, allowing riders to quickly exchange depleted batteries for fully charged ones, minimizing downtime.

Impact: Ampersand’s electric motorcycles are reducing emissions and operational costs for motorcycle taxi drivers in Rwanda.

6.Kiri EV (Kenya)

Overview: Kiri EV designs and manufactures electric vehicles, including buses and delivery vans, tailored for the African market.

Key Innovations: The startup focuses on creating robust and affordable EVs that can withstand the challenging road conditions in many parts of Africa.

Impact: Kiri EV aims to provide sustainable transportation solutions that reduce emissions and enhance mobility in urban and rural areas.

7.Zembo (Uganda)

Overview: Zembo offers electric motorcycles for boda boda (motorcycle taxi) riders in Uganda.

Key Innovations: The company provides a battery swapping service, ensuring that riders can quickly replace batteries and continue their journeys without long charging waits.

Impact: Zembo’s electric motorcycles are contributing to lower emissions and reduced fuel costs for riders, promoting sustainable urban transport.

8.BasiGo (Kenya)

Overview: BasiGo is an electric bus company that aims to revolutionize public transportation in Africa with clean energy solutions.

Key Innovations: The startup provides electric buses and the necessary charging infrastructure, offering a subscription-based model to make it affordable for public transport operators.

Impact: BasiGo's electric buses help reduce air pollution and operating costs, enhancing the sustainability of public transportation in Kenya.

Economic and Environmental Benefits

The shift towards EV manufacturing holds significant economic and environmental benefits for Africa.

Economically, the development of EV manufacturing plants can create thousands of jobs, from assembly line workers to engineers and technicians.

This industry can also stimulate ancillary sectors, such as battery production and charging infrastructure development, further boosting local economies.

Environmentally, electric vehicles offer a cleaner alternative to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

With many African countries relying heavily on fossil fuels, the adoption of EVs can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality in urban areas.

Additionally, Africa's abundant renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind, can be harnessed to power EVs, making the transition to electric mobility even more sustainable.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the promise of EV manufacturing in Africa is substantial, several challenges need to be addressed.

These include the high initial costs of setting up manufacturing plants, the need for skilled labor, and the development of a comprehensive charging infrastructure.

However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and growth.

African governments and private sector players are exploring various solutions to these challenges.

For instance, public-private partnerships can facilitate the sharing of resources and expertise, while investments in education and training can build a skilled workforce.

Moreover, the development of localized supply chains can reduce costs and enhance the sustainability of EV manufacturing.


EV manufacturing in Africa is showing signs of promise, driven by supportive government policies, international investments, and the efforts of pioneering companies. As the continent embraces this green technology, it stands to reap significant economic and environmental benefits. With continued collaboration and innovation, Africa can emerge as a key player in the global EV market, leading the charge towards a sustainable future.