Distributed Power Africa (DPA) has started deploying electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across Zimbabwe as a way of encouraging the uptake of environmentally friendly cars.
This follows the government’s commitment late last year to work on a framework that promotes the use of EVs, as the country moves to embrace the emerging wave of clean energy in the transport sector.
Divyajeet Mahajan, DPA Zimbabwe’s Chief Executive Officer, said the company’s EV stations, which include both AC and DC fast chargers, will be rolled out along the country’s highways linking up major cities.
“Our charging stations will ease a major concern for consumers looking to move to EVs, by removing the fear of running out of battery on their journey,” he said, adding that all charging stations will be open to the public.
“Electric vehicles have zero emissions and we are excited to add this innovation to our solar offering. We have grown our commercial and industrial energy deployments, and bundling our solar solutions with EV charging infrastructure will aid the transition to cleaner energy.”
DPA has already installed the first three EV charging stations in Msasa, Harare, with 17 others currently being deployed at various sites across the country.
The renewable energy giant is also offering electric vehicle charging stations as an added service with their corporate and industrial solar installations, to encourage businesses to adopt EVs as they upgrade their fleets. The charging stations are available to both new and existing customers with a 50kW+ DPA solar solution.
As corporates increase the number of electric vehicles in their company fleets, it will contribute to a significant drop in their transportation and logistics costs.
Mahajan noted that the DC fast charging stations have the capacity to charge the Vaya Africa’s 24kW Nissan Leaf EVs to 80% in under 30 minutes, and will greatly reduce waiting times for Vaya drivers and their customers.
Modern electric passenger vehicles, such as the VW eGolf and the 40 kWh Nissan Leaf, have a real world range of about 250 km. With DPA’s fast chargers located at 150 km intervals along the country’s major highways, drivers will be enabled to do a round trip of the country comfortably.
Economic analysts said the increased use of EVs in Zimbabwe will not only contribute to a cleaner environment, but also reduce the country’s foreign currency spent on fuel, internal combustion engine vehicle spare parts and engine oils. Zimbabwe imports fuel worth about US$1.2 billion annually.
EVs do not require constant parts and fluid changes on maintenance cycles, which makes them cheaper to own over time. According to Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020, the EV market is growing fast, with over seven million electric passenger vehicles and 500 000 e-buses on the road worldwide.