Zero-emission vehicle deployment: Africa

This briefing gives an overview of the status of ZEV development in the emerging economies of Africa.

Electric shares of total vehicle sales in Africa are well below levels found in many developing countries in other regions. The EV shares are even lower if imported used vehicles are taken into account, since about 1.5 million used vehicles are imported into Africa every year.

chart showing EV sales share of passenger vehicles in select countries in Africa

Figure 2. EV sales share (%) of passenger vehicles in non-ZEV Transition Council (ZEVTC6) countries, by key region, based on available data for 2020.

Regarding EV policies, a few African countries, including Cape Verde, Kenya, and Morocco, have announced non-legally binding EV targets. For example, Cape Verde has set 100% EV targets for new sales of passenger cars by 2035 and urban buses by 2040, as well as interim electrification objectives for fleet segments—including passenger cars, urban buses, and government vehicles—and for the nation’s charging infrastructure.

The continent features many opportunities and success stories in the areas of electric shared mobility, electrification of two- and three-wheelers, e-mobility business, manufacturing, incentives, R&D, and charging infrastructure. It also faces a number of challenges in accelerating a ZEV transition, such as import of used internal combustion vehicles, absence of ZEV regulations and policies, lack of technical skills, and unreliable power supply and off-grid rural communities, to name a few.

Policy recommendations that could help advance the ZEV transition in Africa include: incentivizing ZEV manufacturers and importers to improve ZEV access; facilitating ZEV production, imports, and fleet purchases; reducing ZEV cost through trade agreement and international financing; integrating infrastructure development with renewable energy and off-grid solutions; enabling innovative e-mobility business and financing models in shared mobility and public transportation; and demonstrating ZEV technology through exhibition, experience center, and pilot projects to raise public awareness.