Electric charging station around the Stadium area.

Ethiopia’s electric vehicle drivers could soon access a vast new charging station network, following a 25 million dollar deal signed between Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) and Cardinal Industrial Plc to build 500 stations. The deal includes EEP supplying up to 1,000GW an hour of electricity for a year to the stations, potentially earning up to one billion Birr in revenues.

EEP currently operates 180 power substations, and the charging stations will be constructed at these locations, with separate high-voltage lines catering to the stations already prepared. Constructions of separate high-voltage lines catering to the stations are ready, according to Moges Mekonen, communication director of EEP.

“The current power supply won’t be affected,” he told Fortune.

Ashebir Balcha, CEO of EEP, said during the signing ceremony held at Skylight Hotel on Africa Avenue (Bole Road) on February 13, 2023, that the country is generating electricity, aspiring to meet its national ambition under the green energy policy.

Headquartered in Wengelawit Building on Ethio-China St., Cardinal Industrial Plc expects to complete construction within a year and expand to regional cities. CEO Lilia Hailu plans to implement financial system technology as part of the project.

Lilia’s journey in the industrial sector began two decades ago when she started her career as a production engineer at a manufacturing company. Her ability to manage complex projects caught the attention of a construction company in the UAE, where she worked as a project manager. She returned to join Cardinal Industrial Plc, taking on various roles, including production head and chief operating officer.

Lilia studied mechanical engineering at Addis Abeba University and followed her post-graduate studies in business administration at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom (UK).

As the world increasingly transitions from petrol towards electric-powered transportation, many countries, including Ethiopia, are considering renewable energy sources. The government has plans to introduce 4,800 electric buses and 148,000 electric automobiles in the next decade.

The popularity of electric vehicles in Ethiopia has steadily increased, with almost 10,000 EVs imported for 44.3 billion Br in 2021, over double the number imported the previous year, for 15.9 billion Br. Nearly 90pc of these vehicles were imported from China, which accounts for 60pc of global electric car production. The federal government has exempted the import and sale of electric vehicles from value-added or excise taxes starting from mid-September, except for fully-assembled electric cars, which are still subject to a 15pc customs duty.

While electric vehicles have become more popular, charging infrastructure has not kept pace, with only 46 charging stations currently operating in the capital. The surge in demand for charging stations has left many EV owners with few options for quick charging. According to officials at the Ministry of Transport & Logistics, most charging stations are giving service free of charge, including the one at the Ministry’s headquarters.

Tewodros Birhanu, an electric car owner of ID6 Volkswagen, finds charging at home inconvenient and has to drag his car to one of the limited charging locations in the capital, taking nine hours to charge his vehicle fully. With more charging stations available, he is pleased to have more options.

“More charging stations provide alternatives,” he said.

He also welcomes the news that stations will be installed outside the capital, as he has hesitated to take road trips with his electric vehicle for fear of running out of charge.

Automotive engineer Moges Negash applauds the move and recommends that service providers, such as garages, train their employees to meet the growing demand for electric vehicle services. With a greater focus on renewable energy sources and a growing fleet of electric vehicles, Ethiopia is poised to transform its transportation sector in the coming years.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 25,2023 [ VOL 23 , NO 1191]

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.5 / 5. Vote count: 2

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Put your comments here

N.B: A submit button will appear once you fill out all the required fields.

Editors' Pick