Ethiopia has launched an electric car, despite suffering from power shortages. It is only the second Africa...
Ethiopia has launched an electric car, despite suffering from power shortages. It is only the second African country to do so, after South Africa.
Two versions of the Solaris Elettra will be manufactured in Addis Ababa, costing around $12,000 and $15,000.
The cars will be sold in Ethiopia and exported to Africa and Europe.
But some doubt if Africa, where erratic power supplies, low levels of personal wealth and poor infrastructure are common, is ready for electric cars.
Carlo Pironti, general manager of Freestyle PLC, the company producing the Solaris, told the BBC's Uduak Amimo in Addis Ababa that Ethiopia's electricity shortages were not a major obstacle to operating an electric car.
"Ethiopia in future will have lots of power supply," he said.
"In any case, the car can be recharged by generator and by solar power."
Taxes on cars in Ethiopia can be more than 100% and many Ethiopians with low incomes will struggle to afford an electric car.
To overcome this problem, Mr Pironti says his company will develop a credit system for less affluent customers.
Six Solaris Elettras will be produced every week for the next three months, rising to 30 per week when Freestyle's factory in Addis Ababa is fully operational, he says.