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    Can electric cars dominate developing countries?


    January 20, 2022 - TRT World

     

      Countries like India, Indonesia and Brazil possess some energy infrastructure to support two-wheeler electric vehicles but they don't have enough resources to make a full-scale transition to electric-run transportation.

      Developing countries have tremendous potential to transition from petroleum-run two-wheeler vehicles to electric scooters and China-led supply chains can help them achieve that vision in the near future.

      Contrary to Europe which is well-equipped to sustain electric-fired transportation because of availability of nuclear and other clean power projects, the developing countries will have to ensure that they harness their wind and thermal energy projects in order to support the electric vehicles (EVs) and scooters.

      Cities like Amsterdam and London aim to reach zero or ultra-low transport emissions by 2025. US states like California and European cities like Paris are planning to ban non-electronic vehicles from their roads in 2030.

      Challenging infrastructure

      In developing countries, the situation is different, with challenges in infrastructure and supporting environment. Absence of a dependable charging network is a major obstacle that would delay the expansion of EVs.

      In Egypt, for instance, although the government already allowed the importing of EVs, users of electric cars are struggling to register their cars and issue driving licences to them.

      EVs are licenced as a fossil fuel-based car but with much higher registration fees as EVs motors are much more powerful than conventional cars, thus they fall in high tax categories.

      Hundreds of electric cars are flowing in Egyptian streets today, still no clear steps taken to expand the limited EVs chargers’ network available. Such obstacles discourage people from owning electric cars as their driving range anxiety will increase.

      Saving energy

      Adoption of Hybrid EVs were suggested as they yield higher energy and emissions savings for countries having a predominantly thermal-based electricity mix.

      But the way forward will be to promote high-speed electric two-wheelers (E2Ws) in developing countries. China is a prime example where E2Ws have been propelled to an exponential number.

      Some studies suggest that many countries in Africa and Western Asia will save a lot of energy with the increasing culture of considering EVs over petrol or gasoline cars.

      Prices getting lower

      In countries like Jordan and Egypt Nissan Leaf is being noticed on roads. Still the lowest-cost production EV on the market, the second-generation Leaf’s base price has been lowered for 2022.

      Besides its low price, the design is forward-looking with rear seats remaining upright, and cargo room is large. Low maintenance and solid range performance are all high points that would help people with average income consider it.

      Affordable in 7 years

      EV educator and transition specialist Bryce Gaton told ABC Australia, "China is certainly getting the prices down, but its overseas markets are still tending to concentrate on the higher-price vehicles."

      He said battery manufacturing costs have made it "basically impossible" to find a cheap EV but in the past 10 years, the cost of batteries has dropped significantly, but the price of cars has shifted very little. It could be up to seven years until EVs become affordable.

      As solar panels become more mainstream, buying an EV may no longer be an outlandish idea, with the growing desire to do so.

      According to the latest EV outlook report from BloombergNEF, 60 percent of new car sales worldwide must be electric by 2030 if a net-zero scenario is to be achieved.

      That’s approximately 40 million cars a year according to Statista – 40 times the EV production output of pioneering electric car maker Tesla in 2021.

      EV sales are surging due to a combination of policy support, improvements in battery technology and cost, more charging infrastructure being built, and new compelling models from automakers. Electrification is also spreading to new segments of road transport, setting the stage for huge changes ahead.

      With the expected reduction in EVs prices in the next few years and development of infrastructure establishing and improving charging networks backed up by governments, dominance of EVs in developing countries is within the bounds of possibility.

      Source: TRT World

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