Energy Ministry to test-drive electric car

A vehicle dealership in Ghana, Hyundai Motors and Investments Ltd, has presented an electric vehicle to the Ministry of Energy for a test-drive to assess its performance, suitability and use and to give feedback to the suppliers.

The vehicle, which runs wholly on electricity and does not have an engine, was manufactured by Hyundai Company Ltd of South Korea..

Environmental pollution

The General Manager of Hyundai Motors and Investments Ltd, Mr Ganesh Y. Phadale, presented the vehicle to the sector Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh.

He expressed the belief that the vehicle would address the high level of environmental pollution from fumes emitted from vehicles and also its impact on human health.

Mr Phadale said the decision to go electric was also to comply with the shift in global policy towards renewal energy for sustainability.

Technology space

“Also, electric vehicles are now the future of the world and so, Hyundai decided to introduce the car to Ghana to show to the world that in technology, Ghana is not behind.

“We want to prove to the whole world that in terms of technology, Ghana is at par with every other country,” Mr Phadale told journalists at the forecourt of the Ministry of Energy, adding, “we are the first to bring this electric car into this country”.

He was hopeful that if the country accepted the electric cars with the attendance reduction or waiver of tax on it, its current price of GH¢360,000, which was highly influenced by the high tariff, would reduce drastically to the level of every Ghanaian.

Charging points

On the charging of the inverters of the vehicle, Mr Phadale explained that if fully charged, it could cover a distance for 494km.

He gave an assurance that the company would provide two levels of charging units with the mobile charger being able to charge 3.2 kilowatt/hour for 30 hours to reach full charge while the 7.5 kilowatt/hr would take nine hours to fully charge.

Responding to the presentation, Dr Prempeh expressed excitement that “finally, Ghana has taken her pride of place to be the first country in Africa to have electric vehicles as part of its transport system”.

Commitment

The minister recalled that the commitment of the government to introduce the electric vehicles in the country started in October 2019, when the then Senior Minister launched the project championed by Hyundai in collaboration with the Energy Commission.

Dr Prempeh said he looked forward to the day when Ghanaians, especially commercial vehicles, would resort to electric vehicles, to help better achieve the climate change agenda.

“So we will have to work with other ministries such as the Transport and Finance to ensure that not only does this car become the norm, but getting commercial vehicles moving into electronic vehicles,” he said.

Quoting the Finance Minister during the 2019 Budget Statement, where he promised to work with the Ministry of Energy to introduce tax-free solution for full electric vehicles, Dr Prempeh emphasised that the commitment had already been given.

Dumping site

Dr Prempeh hinted that most developed countries were planning banning the sale and use of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and said Ghana could not afford to be the dumping site of petrol and diesel vehicles.

He was hopeful that the electric vehicles would come in with all the ancillary services that the vehicles would depend on and added that there were numerous benefits for the use of such vehicles.

He advised the company to locate charging points throughout the country for such vehicles, acknowledging that it would be a huge drawback if people patronised the vehicles and had to struggle to get places to recharge them.

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