SolarTaxi, one of the three largest assemblers of electric vehicles and a major assembler in Ghana has lamented the taxes on electric vehicles and the fact that their assembling materials are expensive.
The company says the government of Ghana treats electric cars as luxury vehicles.
Loving Asibey Koranteng, Chief Investment Officer of SolarTaxi, disclosed that although they are an assembly plant in Ghana, they import 90% of the materials used in assembling the vehicles.
This came up during a panel discussion at the Future for Energy Conference organised by the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) in Accra on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra.
He explained that there was a need for the government to open the market, especially by giving assemblers incentives that could encourage them to manufacture affordable electric vehicles that Ghanaians can afford.
He said that after we do this, we can look at the long-term perspective, which is the localization of the manufacturing of electric vehicles.
He said that currently when you look at the importation of electric vehicles, there is no policy on pricing, and even smaller types of vehicles are treated as luxury vehicles, making the barrier of entry to such vehicles expensive.
Loving Asibey Koranteng in answering specifically what authorities could do to address the issues he had raised underscored the need for industry players to build working partnerships with the Energy Commission so they can develop a valuation regime for electric vehicles.
He said it would be important to treat them in terms of their capacity to help reduce the cost of importation.
He said if the government can create an incentive for electric vehicle prices to drop, it will not only bring health benefits but also help reduce the rate of road crashes in the country.
On her part, co-founder and chief executive officer of Wahu, Valerie Larbi, called for a clear environment for innovation and actual manufacturing.
She said electric mobility is a reality for the continent, but what remains unclear is the path to greatness in the sector for Africa.
She also indicated that there are no clear guidelines concerning the importation of parts or actual vehicles.
According to her, even when you import from China, these vehicles have not been manufactured with Ghana in mind and for the realities of our roads.
Wahu, she added, has taken steps to establish a framework and ecosystem for designing, working in partnership with Ghanaian students with the skills and brightest minds to design vehicles for our Ghanaian market.
FEC is a platform for stakeholders within and outside the energy industry across Africa and beyond to discuss effective and practical approaches for fostering sustainable and inclusive development in the energy sector.
These discussions will centre on the African perspective of the energy transition, addressing potential risks and identifying solutions that promote economic benefits.
The conference and its focus on change align with a broader focus on energy sector governance, extending beyond the previous emphasis solely on oil and gas governance. Consequently, FEC is dedicated to critically exploring the energy transition within the African context.
By: Rashid Obodai Provencal Rainbowradioonline.com/Ghana