Govt will not subsidise Electric Vehicles imports

Government says it will not subsidise the importation of Electric Vehicles (EV) to cushion consumers amid rising fuel costs.

Namibia's petrol and diesel prices rose by 51% and 60%, respectively in the past 12 months before the government effected price cuts in May.

Mines Deputy Minister Kornelia Shilunga told The Brief that the government had no plans to subsidise EVs.

“As a country we are not there yet and that is something we will look into in the future and inform the public of our decision,” she said.

The Minister further said: “There needs to be infrastructure that supports electric vehicles and currently Namibia is very limited in that aspect”.

According to Simonis Storm Securities Economist Theo Klein an average city dweller drives 880km per month in Windhoek which translates to N$1,276 for a petrol-powered car compared to N$894 for an EV.

“Driving an EV saves you N$382 per month (70% of the cost of a petrol engine),” he said.

This equates to an annual savings of N$4,584 from driving an EV within the city on a daily basis. To drive the same distance, petrol prices will need to fall to N$11.18 per litre to match the cost of charging an EV's battery, according to Klein.

Namibia has two EV charging stations, one of which was launched at Grove Mall in Windhoek at the end of January 2022, using solar energy from panels installed on the mall's rooftop to power the charging station, and another one at BMW which is available for client use at the dealership's expense.

Klein mentioned that a potential joint venture with a South African company is in the works to establish charging station infrastructure in Namibia, which will have central billing for EVs (regardless of brand) when registered to charge their EV at strategic points in Namibia.

“The local company wishes to remain anonymous, but the project is expected to commence from Q2 2022. We also know of a local investor who is planning on erecting charging stations along the Windhoek to Oshakati and Windhoek to Swakopmund routes,” Klein said earlier this year.

In an effort to improve affordability, and increase uptake, of electric vehicles in the UK, the Department for Transport has, for some time, offered a plug-in subsidy scheme.

 The scheme sought to make electric vehicles a more attractive option to purchasers by contributing a (small) proportion of the purchase price of new vehicles.

The grant was created in an effort to shift the industry towards cleaner technologies, particularly in view of the UK’s aggressive, possibly overly optimistic, ban of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

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Last modified on Monday, 20 June 2022 18:11

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