Electric Car Charging Network

The race  to set up an electric car charging network in Europe is on. What a major development. Where will this put Africa in the Automobile global industry in terms of over dependent on crude oil sales?

Some of the biggest automakers in Europe are joining forces to build a highway network of fast-charging stations they hope will boost sales of electric vehicles.  This great development is to let drivers plug in, charge in minutes instead of hours, and speed off again — from Norway to southern Italy, and Portugal to Poland.

Much is at stake for the automakers, which include Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler and Ford. Their joint venture, Munich-based Ionity, is pushing to roll out its network in time to service the next generation of battery-only cars coming on the market starting next year from Volkswagen’s Porsche and Audi, BMW and Daimler.

They’re aiming to win back some of the market share for electric luxury car sales lost to Tesla, which has its own, proprietary fast-charging network.

A man charges his BMW electric vehicle at the rest stop Brohltal Ost on the A61 motorway in Niederzissen, Germany, May 11, 2018.
A man charges his BMW electric vehicle in German. 

Recently in China, the  biggest global auto show of the year was showcased. It’s ambitions is to become a leader in electric cars and the industry’s multi-billion-dollar scramble to roll out models that appeal to price-conscious but demanding Chinese drivers.

Visitors look at the Infiniti electric concept sedan at a showroom ahead of the Auto China 2018 to be held in Beijing, China, April 19, 2018.
Infiniti electric concept sedan at a showroom ahead of the Auto China 2018  in Beijing, China.

The ruling Communist Party has transformed China into the biggest market for electrics with billions of dollars in subsidies to producers and buyers. Now, Beijing is winding down that support and shifting the financial burden to automakers with sales quotas that push them to develop models Chinese drivers want to buy.

That is reflected in the auto show lineup: Global and Chinese brands including General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. plan to display dozens of electrics and hybrids, from luxurious SUVs to compacts priced as low as 152,000 yuan ($24,000). The price seems to be encouraging

It is super clear that in the last two or three years, China rose from being a very small player in the global EV market to be nearly 50 percent of sales in 2017.  Christopher Robinson, who follows the industry for Lux Research made this known.

Starting in 2019, automakers will be required to earn credits by selling electrics or else buy them from competitors. More stringent fuel efficiency standards will require a big share of each brand’s sales to be non-gasoline models.

Global automakers say electrics should account for 35 to over 50 percent of their China sales by 2025.    Chinese sales of electrics and gasoline-electric hybrids rose 154 percent in the first quarter over a year earlier to 143,000 units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. That compares with sales of just under 200,000 for all of last year in the United States, the No. 2 market. Africa on red alert.


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