Strive Masiyiwa Echoes Minister Chasi’s Approach To Electric Vehicles

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

[Image Source: Nissan]

Minister of Energy Fortune Chasi has -for a while now- said Zimbabwe has to see where Electric Vehicles fit in Zimbabwe’s transportation sector. The Minister went a step further and announced that incentives to make purchase and use of EV’s more attractive in Zimbabwe were coming soon.

Like Honourable Chasi, Strive Masiyiwa also sees the potential in adoption and recently urged entrepreneurs to be ready to be part of the EV value chain:

A section from a recent post by Mr Masiyiwa on EV’s read:

Here are the maths:
~Duty on a car brought into Zimbabwe is 100%.
~Cost of an EV is 25% higher than its petrol equivalent.
So it will cost you 75% less!
Second hand EVs are ALREADY available in Japan, EU, and China.
If you consider the cost of running and maintenance:
* You don’t buy petrol!
* An EV has fewer moving parts and therefore costs less to maintain!

“The entrepreneurial opportunities from EVs, as they emerge in Africa is going to be explosive”, says Strive Masiyiwa Just think about it!
The problem for a lot of people is that they will want to see before they believe a possibility, and by then others have already enjoyed the first mover advantage!

VW is planning to build an EV assembly plant in Rwanda. Don’t say I did not warn you!
There are entrepreneurs rushing to locate a position in anything from servicing, to distribution. Others want to produce batteries.

What opportunities are you seeing? Don’t be so dumb as to write it here and give away your idea; just DO It!

Like Fortune Chasi, Masiyiwa seems to be suggesting that waiting until the opportunity is obvious isn’t the best way to grab the opportunity that is tied to this industry.

Interestingly, one of the biggest arguments raised when it comes to electric vehicles has been where will Zimbos and their meagre salaries get the money to afford these vehicles. Chasi’s response to that was ‘incentives are coming’ and Masiyiwa’s response is second-hand electric vehicles are already available.

Whilst government incentives haven’t been announced yet I doubt the government will subsidise the cost of electric cars which could mean reducing or entirely scrapping duty on EVs. If that is the case will second-hand electric vehicles become attainable for Zimbabweans? I would like to think so.

What of the issue of electricity? Zimbos will argue we only have electricity for 6-8 hours per day. Where will the electricity to charge these vehicles you want us to buy come from? Well, the Minister said that the infrastructure for charging would be installed at service stations and our cash-strapped government would probably have to incentivise service stations to do this. Maybe reducing some of the taxes they pay if they comply? I don’t know how that will work.

One issue that the Minister needs to address will be regarding the increase in EV’s and what that does to electricity demand. Right now we only get power at night because we are asleep at night and we don’t use that much power anyway. If a thousand households are now charging their cars at night when electricity is back, what impact will that have?

Where I agree with the Minister is that the issue of policy shouldn’t have to wait because “we don’t have electricity”. Time and time again we complain of policymakers lagging behind and now on the rare occasion that policymakers have decided to address a need before it arises we complain again that “we have more pressing issues”. Which one is it? Let the policy and incentives be put in place and let’s see how consumers and businesses alike react.



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  1. VaMhlanga

    Let’s us address the fundamentals first.

    1. Fuel supply
    2. Electricity supply
    3. Clean water supply
    4. Resuscitation of industry (these cars wont be driven in a vacuum)
    5. Stable currency

    The is no problem in dreaming. The challenge is in trying to move straight from a mud hut in Dotito to a 20 bedroomed mansion in Borrowdale. Masiyiwa speaks to Africa in general. I am sure his DPA company is ready to dispatch the EV batteries to Africa hence the call to EVs. How about Chasi???

  2. Mpumelelo Msimanga

    Can one of the editors please break down the statement from Masiyiwa? I might be missing something obvious but where does 75% less come from?

    ~Cost of an EV is 25% higher than its petrol equivalent.
    So it will cost you 75% less!

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