A Ghanaian solar taxi manufacturer has hinted at plans of assembling electric vehicles beginning the next year 2022.
Jorge Appiah, who is making Ghana proud for his solar taxi initiative, said electric vehicles are fast becoming the new normal and the company wants to ensure that Ghanaians at home are not left behind.
He said they have designed schemes that would enable Ghanaians to easily buy, lease or rent electric vehicles.
The company runs an outright sale, lease to own, and long-term rental schemes for people who want to own and or rent electric vehicles.
In an interview with a Ghana-based journalist KKB on his Show, ’21 Minutes’, the CEO of Solar Taxi, Jorge Appiah said the prices of their cars range from GHC90,000 to GHC300,000 depending on what the customer wants, adding that it makes better economic sense to buy a brand new EV than to buy an imported home-used second-hand petrol/diesel car that will cost a lot of fuel to run.
“An overwhelming majority of our clients choose EV over petrol/diesel cars based on the economics-because if you buy an electric vehicle today, you will be saving up to 90 per cent of what you spend on fuel every month.
“So, if you spend GHC1,000 on fuel every month, EV will save you GHC900 and you would spend only GHC100 a month to run the car,” he stated.
And the savings, he said, could even get to as high as 98 per cent a month, if you invest in a solar hub where a solar charging system is mounted in your house to charge your vehicle daily.
Currently, the EV market is a young one in Ghana and is now picking up, but Jorge Appiah believes with the government’s policy intervention in the areas of infrastructural support and tax rebates for both players and consumers, EVs mainstreaming can be fast-tracked.
Jorge Appiah said Solar Taxi’s main focus is to create an affordable and environmentally friendly transportation system for Africa, such that “we will avoid the situation where we make a lot of money but can’t spend because we would have to be wearing nose masks and adopting practices to prevent health risks due to environmental pollution.”
West African economies, he said, depend largely on carriers, such that the smallest increase in the cost of any transportation component like fuel, spare parts and others impact every sector of the economy–education, food, health and others.
So with the global drive towards stemming climate change, the dream was to find a sustainable and affordable means of transportation for the sub-region and beyond, and that was how Solar Taxi was birthed.
He said it was based on the company’s commitment to green energy that, in 2018, MasterCard came on board as a partner and provided funding for them to go commercial.
In terms of the safety of electric vehicles, Jorge Appiah said they are safer than petrol and diesel cars because the safety measures put in electric cars have been stepped up many notches higher compared to petrol and diesel cars.
“For one, petrol is flammable but electric vehicles can hardly catch fire due to the high safety standards–EVs are just like the mobile phone in your pocket–if you do not have concerns about your mobile handset easily posing a risk then you should not have concerns about electric vehicles,” he said.