Ethiopia-Made Electric Car Rolls Off Assembly Plant

Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Ali receiving the first electric car fully assembled locally by Hyundai dealership. Image courtesy,Office of the Prime Minister - Ethiopia

Ethiopia has unveiled its first electric car fully assembled in the country, giving a major boost to its quest of becoming the region’s manufacturing powerhouse.

The e-vehicle rolled off the assembly line on Monday morning, under the watch of the country’s leadership.

“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed today (Monday) received the first electric car fully assembled locally by Hyundai dealership, Marathon Motors. The decision to assemble electric cars in Ethiopia follows the request put forth by the prime minister to the Hyundai President,” a tweet from the office of the prime minister reads.

Marathon motors, which has a dealership pact with South Korean giant Hyundai, is owned by Ethiopian marathon legend Haile Gebrselassie.

“Fully battery operated and with no emissions, Prime Minister Abiy noted how such investments support the country’s climate resilience and greening ambitions. Unique to Ethiopia, the electric car does not require charging at terminals and can rather be charged anywhere.”

Ethiopia is among eight countries across the globe recognised by the UN to be making sufficient efforts to limiting global warming below two degrees Celsius (2°C) – in line with the Paris Agreement.

The Horn of Africa nation is the top hydropower producer on the continent – a green energy source.

Besides being ecofriendly, electric cars are more efficient. For instance, they have fewer parts to funnel energy through, undergo less energy conversion, hence less energy loss compared to gasoline-powered engines.

Additionally, the electric motor has only one moving part in comparison to the combustion engine that consists of thousands. This means the risk of something breaking down is reduced significantly, and hence lower maintenance costs, according to experts.

Equally, using an electric motor gives the advantage of having constant peak torque right at the tip of the pedal, starting from zero (0) RPM (revolutions per minute/ how fast the engine turns). This means the driver has full force of the motor at disposal already from stationary, whereas a traditional combustion engine delivers peak torque at around 2500 RPM. The total efficiency of the electrical motor is 94-96 percent, in comparison to around 20-30 percent for a combustion engine.

Read also: KenGen sends robots to inspect hydropower dams

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