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Call him a daydreamer or madman but Energy Minister, Fortune Chasi seem determined to make the introduction and widespread use of Electric Vehicles (EV) a reality in Zimbabwe. The Minister has reiterated his plans to come up with preferential policies which promote the use of Electric vehicles. And yesterday he said that’s happening soon.
My colleague wrote a beautiful article when the Minister first talked about EV’s.
When the Minister first talked about the issue 3 weeks ago, many people ridiculed him saying that it doesn’t make sense to introduce EV’s before we haven’t even solved the issue of inadequate electricity in the country. However, Fortune Chasi says that by leveraging solar, through installing charging ports at service stations, the problem of electricity shortages will be solved such that owners of EV’s will easily recharge their cars. Solved!
What’s interesting is nobody seem to be raising this question: how many Zimbabweans can afford Electric Vehicles? This is an important question because the number of Zimbabweans who can afford Electric Vehicles should be enough to justify the investment in the infrastructure. It will be a loss if government or investors invest a million in infrastructure that will only serve just a thousand EV’s, for instance. With prices of EV’s averaging $35 000 and an average Zimbabwean earning $17 000 net salary, how many EV’s will you see in Bulawayo road? With that in perspective, I think widespread use of EV’s in Zimbabwe is still a distant dream unless the government decide to subsidize the purchase of EV’s like what China once did– but I hardly think our cash-strapped government can’t afford this.
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