In a world where fossil fuel and other greenhouse gases are making the planet warmer, we need cleaner sources of energy or we may destroy the earth. Electric vehicles, which has been available from the 1950s, is one of ways we can transport our selves, without harming the earth but it has not been commercialised yet due to several factors.
After paying lip service to several Environmental policies to reduce carbon and other harmful gases emission by developed and industrialized nations, very few countries and companies are making headway in electric cars. Donald Trump of USA has been quoted to say that he doesn’t believe that the climate is changing, even with glaring evidences of its effects worldwide.
For now, Issues like battery storage of the cars, fast charging and solar charging are being improved upon but it would take the political and economic cooperation of powerful nations to adopt this technology fully.
In Africa where government are still struggling to have adequate power supply, despite huge natural and economic endowments, among several factors caused by bad leadership, could affect such technology should it be adopted.
Electric cars could have a huge impact on African cities and economies. Currently, while famous automakers like Mercedes, Toyotas and others are making electric cars, it is Interesting to note that in Africa, quite a number of them were built by university students.
Here are the electric cars made in Africa:
4. The Kantanka Odeneho II (Ghana)
Developed at the Apostle Safo Suaye Technological Centre at Gomoa Mpota, a town in the Central Region of Ghana, this new electric car saves energy and releases “zero” greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This is because the car has no internal combustion engine, a big step forward in reducing global warming and other respiratory diseases. The car gets its energy from series of accumulators connected together.
Kantanka Odeneho II is powered by 12 rechargeable batteries. Each battery has a life span of over four years. Unlike other electric cars, Kantanka Odeneho II is built on user friendly technology making it easy to be recharged. It does not require any complex set-up for recharging, just plug it in any socket (like you plug an electric iron or any household appliance) and bingo, the car starts recharging.
3. The Joule: This car, manufactured in South Africa, was its first locally-developed electric car in 2012. The Joule was as a result of years of research and hard work by Cape Town-based Optimal Energy in association with legendary South African-born automotive designer, Keith Helfet.
The Joule is a zero-emissions , six-seater, multi-purpose vehicle and made its debut at the Paris Motor Show. It uses just 20% of the energy used by a conventional car. Using a normal 220-volt home outlet and the Joule’s onboard charger, it takes approximately seven hours to recharge the car’s battery pack for a 200-kilometre driving range – with the two battery packs providing 400 kilometres in total.
2. The Kiira EV (Uganda):
The Kiira EV, was built and unveiled by students of Uganda’s Makerere University in 2011 with support from the Government of Uganda for Innovation Projects at the university.
The students founded the Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) company after they partook in the Vehicle Design Summit (VDS 2.0) organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2007. At the end of the summit, they successfully helped design and build the Vision 200; an environmentally friendly 5-seater plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which was unveiled in 2008.
The Lion Ozumba 551 (Nigeria):
Called “Lion Ozumba 551”, the car is made with 80 per cent locally-sourced materials and it can undertake a 30-kilometre distance when fully charged. It costs N800,000 ($2,200) to produce the car, reports Vanguard Nigeria.
It was unveiled by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as the first-ever five-seater electric car produced in Nigeria by the Faculty of Engineering of the University.