The private sector is working closely with the Government’s line ministries in setting up assembly plants for electric vehicles, while Zuva Petroleum is putting in place a charging network at its service stations so that drivers can “charge up” while away from home.
Electric Vehicle Centre Africa, also known as Build Your Dreams Zimbabwe (BYD), one of those looking at entering the market with an assembly plant, has been partnered with Zuva for this first public charging network in Zimbabwe.
Zuva Borrowdale will get the first charger and then the electric vehicle charging stations will be rolled out to Zuva Service stations within cities around the country and along major highways.
EVCA general manager Mr Mufaro Mugumbate said electric vehicles were the future and already several organisations were placing orders, hence the need for the charging network to make the system work.
The adoption of electric cars will go a long way in reducing the fuel import bill and greenhouse emissions that damage the environment. Globally, many countries have committed to allowing only new electric vehicles from the early 2030s, with these taking over during the next decade from the inherited petrol and diesel fleets.
Under the National Renewable Energy Policy, the Government has set out clear objectives to minimise greenhouse emissions by promoting use of electric vehicles to add to the biofuels and ethanol blending.
“One major area of concern that affects electric vehicle adoption in any place or country anywhere in the world is the availability of the supporting charging infrastructure and this is one area that EVCA and Zuva would like to address,” said Mr Mugumbate.
“The project will kick off with the installation of a 60kW DC CCS Type 2 charger which is a super-fast charger capable of charging the BYD T3 (300km Range) and BYD E6 (500km range) in less than 1,5 hours.
“That is to say with the BYD E6 and BYD T3, after a single charge of 1 hour 30 minutes, one can get a driving range of 500km and 300km respectively. The CCS2 charger is compatible with all BYD Electric vehicles and BYD electric buses and is also compatible with European electric vehicles.
“Other electric vehicles compatible with the charger will be able to charge to full capacity in less than an hour.”
Mr Mugumbate said the chargers could also be powered by solar energy, thereby being environmentally friendly.
EVCA is encouraged by the electric vehicle policy framework set to be released this year by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, which is expected to accelerate the adoption of e-mobility solutions in Zimbabwe.
Some of the electric vehicle models that the charging network is being developed for are already available for viewing and test driving.
Recently, CMED bought six electric vehicles from a Chinese company for testing for Government use. Some of the cars are now being used at its driving school, EasyGo, and the rest as shuttle cars at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
The vehicles, and the charging infrastructure now based at the CMED Harare depot, were bought by the CMED from BYD.
Three EVs assembly plants have already been established in Harare by BYD, ZimTorque and Brad-Tech.