There’s a running belief that, in the Mozambican capital of Maputo, most vehicles plying the streets are no less than a decade old.
While new four-wheelers are typically rare in the Southeastern African nation, electric vehicles are absent and even unheard of because most of the country’s automobiles are imported from Japan as ”fairly-used” merchandise.
However, this is not a reality peculiar to Mozambique. In the majority of other African economies—where about 40 percent and 2 percent of the world’s used and new light-duty vehicles are sold, respectively—electric vehicles are relatively new and not often in the picture.
In Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia, as examples, 80 to 90 percent of vehicles used are imported. For lower-income African countries, the proportion is likely to be higher.
Only 12 percent of the total emissions in the Sub-Saharan African region come from automobiles. The demand for road transportation, though, skyrockets alongside its population count, creating a need to transition into a cheaper and less hazardous form of mobility—electric vehicles.
Currently, South Africa has the largest EV market in the region and continent at large, but of the over 12 million vehicles on the country’s roads, only about 1,000 runs on clean energy.