The EV innovation and revolution is a timely development to address the challenges of climate change and global warming confronting the world. Thus, the demand for it is increasing and more people are embracing the use of EVs as a means to reduce greenhouse emissions and enjoy a healthier environment.
In 2020, a total of 3.1 million electric vehicles were sold around the world. This number of sales more than doubled in 2021 to 6.7 million. China and the US account for 65% of global purchases, followed by Europe with 23%.
However, developing countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Australia are not as excited since they are still struggling with myriads of economic and infrastructural deficits. For instance, the largest EV market in Africa, South Africa, has just 1,000 EVs out of over 12 million vehicles in the country. In India, less than 1% of cars are electric.
Here are 4 factors that hinder the fast adoption and revolution of EVs in the developing countries of the world.
Reasons for Poor Performance in Developing Countries
• Affordability: Electric vehicles are more expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles. The average price of EVs is pegged at $55,600 (cheaper ones come with a low range) while that of gasoline-powered vehicles is $30,000. Meanwhile, the average annual salary in a developing country like Nigeria is N2 million ($4800). For this reason, most people within the catchments of developing countries can only afford second-hand vehicles.
It is estimated that 40% of global exports of used vehicles end up in Africa and around 90% of vehicles in Kenya and Nigeria are second-hand.
• Electricity: The use of EVs requires constant availability of electricity. Sadly, many developing countries are battling with frequent blackouts. There are inadequate megawatts for economic, industrial, leisure and domestic activities.
In some of these countries, the national electricity grids have collapsed recurrently. Introducing electric vehicles will overwhelm these infrastructures.
Again, despite the poor supply of electricity, citizens and businesses have to deal with outrageous charges. Therefore, using electric cars comes with huge operational costs.
• Charging Stations and Time: Developing countries do not have adequate funds to speed up the infrastructural requirements of electric vehicles. The roll out of charging stations across the country requires funds, in addition to the fact that it takes between 30 minutes to 8 hours to charge an electric vehicle, depending on the make, features and robustness of the battery. The time span of the charging station is also a key factor. This will further complicate the situation in many of these countries that need urgent solutions to reducing traffic time.
• Range Anxiety: Range anxiety is also a major concern, especially in countries that are experiencing various forms of security challenges. Range anxiety is a concern over the tendency of the driver to get stranded due to exhaustion of battery life. The earliest electric cars could travel for around 100 miles. Fortunately, more recent models can go as far as 500 miles and beyond, though they are more expensive.
The dearth of adequate infrastructural and economic resources facing developing economies will make the adoption of EVs very slow. However, hybrid cars that can be charged by solar energy, wind energy, hydrogen gas and other alternative sources of energy may be the best recommendation for these regions now.
IMAGE CREDIT: PIXABAY