Are there any electric vehicles in Zambia? For now, there are no EVs or electric vehicles driving in Zambia. But there are some hybrids that a few people have bought off the Japanese vehicles.
And these hybrids have been used with petrol or diesel which in turn charges the internal battery. As long as they still use a combustion engines in addition to the motor they are not EVs.
In this blog post, we will briefly look at electric vehicles, the technology, and the electric vehicles in Zambia, and what it means for the car Zambian owner and driver.
EVS or electric vehicles are not to be confused with electronic vehicles (it is very easy to make the confusion). Someone made such a mistake in a headline Zambia is set for its first electronic vehicles dealership
That’s another subject however passenger electric vehicles have been around for now at least a hundred years. Yes, you heard right. And the development of motors to power a vehicular design.
“Practical electric vehicles appeared during the 1890s,” says Wikipedia. The invention is not a clear-cut point but the name of the Hungarian physicist Ányos Jedlik is mentioned with an early type of electric motor in 1828.
And in the 1830s a Scottish inventor R. Anderson name pops up when he invented a crude electric carriage. In the same 1830s Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of the Netherlands also is also referenced.
Then there was a history of locomotives powered by electric motors and the names of the time include; Thomas Davenport, and chemist Robert Davidson, culminating in the grand name Davidson who later built a larger locomotive named Galvani.
Electric locomotives had little success as evidenced by the Galvani locomotive which suffered destruction by the railmen. The rail workers saw it as a threat to their security of employment and smashed the machinery.
The first human-carrying vehicle was tested in the streets of Paris in April 1881 and presented by French inventor Gustave Trouvé. And soon interest in motor vehicles increased greatly in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
Electric battery-powered taxis became available at the end of the 19th century and Germany together with Britain got into the front interest in electric vehicles. And so the EVs began flooding the market.
But soon interest was lost in the electric car when environmental infrastructure changed;
- Road improvements allowed for more vehicle movement rather than the short distances the electric vehicle offered.
- The increased speed of gasoline-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles had limitations to urban use by their slow speed which was no more than 24–32 km/h.
- Lack of charging stations for electric vehicles, the discovery of large petroleum reserves in the early 1920s
Revival of Electric Vehicles after the Year 2000
After enjoying the top spot at the beginning of the 1900s by the 30s electric cars had lost interest in the more suitable gasoline-powered vehicles covering long-range. The revival was attempted in the 50s and 60s by AMC but nothing concrete came out.
Into the 70s electric vehicles got popularised when a Lunar Rover was the first manned electric vehicle on the moon where it still remains to this day. In pursuant in 1976 the USA provided incentives for the development of electric vehicles in the US and thus attempts at various models emerged.
Subaru Sambar 600, Ford Escort/Mercury Lynx, Mazda B2000/Ford Courier, and Chevrolet S-10 EV to mention a few. By the 90s more attempts saw Chrysler TEVan, Ford Ranger EV, Honda EV Plus, and Toyota RAV4 EV.
These attempts still went vain as vehicle owners, enthusiast preferred more power gasoline-propelled sporty cars.
And so fast forward to date Tesla Motors has risen to the occasion. Beginning in 2008 with RoadStar, it was the “first to use lithium-ion battery cells, and the first production all-electric car to travel more than 320 km with one full charge”
After 2010 massive interest emerged and quickly we saw Nissan Leaf and Renault Fluence Z.E. Also Mia electric, Volvo C30 Electric, and the Ford Focus Electric all begin to surge on the market.
In 2014 the most sold electric vehicles were the Nissan Leaf (61,507), Tesla Model S (31,655), BMW i3 (16,052), and the Renault Zoe (11,323). In the same year, we saw Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen getting into the market with Mercedes Benz B-Class Electric Drive and Volkswagen e-Golf.
Despite the advances and millions of EVs sold so far, we have no infrastructure to charge electric vehicles in Zambia. And so we are no near electric vehicles.
Presently and the Future of Electric Cars
Massive interest has shifted toward electric vehicles and soon Zambia is to fall on the new wagon. Global warming and the demand to reduce on carbon emissions have filtered into car manufacturers and government urgencies.
the future of cars is EVs rather than gasoline powered
In 2020 the Tesla Model 3 surpassed the Nissan Leaf to become the world’s best-selling electric car ever, with more than 500,000 total units sold by March 2020.
However, the Tesla Model Y (introduced in 2020) is still the best-selling EVS in terms of yearly sales.
The car technologies are here to stay and soon we will have electric vehicles in Zambia driving on the road. Last year in 2021 the government announced to set for electric vehicles assembly and battery manufacture.
- Top 10 Common vehicles in Zambia
In May 2022 ERB announced preparation for Electric vehicles in Zambia and the deployment especially since Zambia has the comparative advantage in the manufacturing of EVs batteries.
But all this like many projects of such capacity will take time to come through. The infrastructure has to be built for charging electric vehicles and then we will start buying electric vehicles in Zambia.