Might The Transition To Electrical Mobility On The African Continent Help Improvement Of Native Battery Manufacturing?


The transition to electrical mobility presents a serious alternative for the African continent to leapfrog into the age of electrical mobility, permitting many of the continent’s inhabitants to bypass the ICE age. Africa’s low motorization charges in comparison with different elements of the world makes this extremely possible. Already in a number of African international locations, there are some thrilling developments within the electrical 2-wheeler, 3-wheeler, electrical automotive, and electrical bus sectors. After a number of years of pilots, many corporations working on this house are actually working to scale up their operations. Most of them incorporate battery packs imported from abroad, and principally from China.

There have been calls from a number of native stakeholders for African nations to benefit from the worldwide transition to electrical mobility and at last get extra out of their pure assets. The battery storage sector has been on the heart of many discussions in a number of boards. Reference is all the time made to the abundance of assets on the continent that go into battery manufacturing. Listed below are a few of them, taking a look at simply the Southern African Improvement Neighborhood (SADC) area, as listed within the South African Automotive enterprise Council’s South Africa’s New Power Automobile Roadmap Thought Management Dialogue doc:

  • Nickel: South Africa is the ninth largest international producer, and Zimbabwe additionally has vital nickel reserves.
  • Manganese: South Africa has 70% of the world’s manganese reserves, with some in DRC and Gabon.
  • Cobalt: DRC has over 60% of world provide, 85% is exported to China, and a few is from Zambia.
  • Lithium: Zimbabwe is the fifth largest producing nation, some in South Africa, and in Namibia.
  • Graphite: Mozambique (20 – 40% of worldwide reserves), some in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar.
  • Copper: South Africa, the DRC, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

So, with all these assets, when can Africa get into the battery manufacturing sport? Nicely, a latest dialogue with one of many largest car manufacturing OEMs that has an ICE car manufacturing footprint on the African continent reveals {that a} native battery manufacturing facility could require a manufacturing capability of a minimum of 300,000 electrical automobiles per 12 months. Gross sales of brand name new autos are fairly low in most African markets as used car imports dominate the panorama in lots of them. Subsequently, loads of work continues to be wanted to develop the native new car market in loads of international locations. For instance, there can be a must develop the market to those ranges of provide 300,000 new car gross sales for a selected mannequin or vary of fashions that use the battery packs to make a battery manufacturing facility viable. Having a minimum of 10 markets that might off-take 30,000 or so autos each year in Africa might be a pathway in the direction of this.

Assuming this 300,000 is predicated on autos which have a 60 kWh battery, one other option to justify a neighborhood battery manufacturing facility of this measurement can be to provide battery cells for the burgeoning 2-wheeler market as effectively. Loads of these electrical bikes are designed with battery packs shut to three kWh capability. Taking a look at it simplistically, this might suggest the manufacturing facility may require an annual demand of battery packs from about 6 million bikes throughout a number of markets on the continent. Some markets resembling Kenya already promote over 300,000 bikes per 12 months, so about 20 markets of comparable measurement can be wanted to satisfy the 6 million mark. In fact, the demand for battery cells won’t be solely from 2-wheelers, but additionally from electrical automobiles, buses, and vehicles, in addition to for stationary storage purposes for the residential, C&I, and utility-scale sectors. I’m wanting ahead to seeing how the clear power sector develops and the way demand for battery storage will develop and when it should justify the institution of battery factories.


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