Ethiopia has unveiled a locally-assembled electric car from Marathon Motor, a joint venture between Korean auto giant Hyundai and Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie.
Fully battery operated and with no emissions, the electric car does not require charging at terminals, and can rather be charged anywhere.
Mr Haile on July 27, 2020 delivered the vehicle to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
“As we transform Ethiopia’s greening and climate-resilient aspirations into concrete actions through the Green Legacy initiative and Sheger and Entoto Parks, this morning I received the first electric car fully assembled in Ethiopia. No emission cars can help reduce pollution,” the PM said in a tweet.
The plant, which opened in March this year, has a capacity to produce 10,000 cars a year. Once fully charged, the electric car can go for 300 kilometres.
Ethiopia is the third East Africa country to produce an electric car. Uganda and Rwanda have unveiled electric vehicle assembly plants. Uganda’s state-owned Kiira Motors Corporation has so far shown the biggest ambition in the region by building two battery-powered cars and a solar electric bus.
The electric bus, called the Kayoola Electric Vehicle Series (EVS), has been built using Kiira Motors home-grown green mobility technologies while partnering with Chinese Equipment Manufacturer, Motor Co. Ltd.
The buses can cover a distance of 300km under a single charge and have a capacity of 90 passengers (49 sitting and 41 standing), compared with the diesel engine ones which have a capacity of 65 passengers.
In Rwanda, German automaker Volkswagen started assembling electric vehicles in Kigali late 2019, with the German power equipment firm Siemens planning to set up 15 charging stations in the Rwandan capital.
This comes after a local Rwandan firm, Ampersand, started selling electric bikes powered by batteries that can last for about 75km of riding.
East Africa’s uptake of electrical vehicles however remains extremely low compared to global leaders, according to Global EV Outlook report 2019.