Electric two-wheelers in Africa? Markets, production and policy

Discussion Paper
17 June 2019

Anthony Black, Justin Barnes, Brian Makundi, Tobias Ritter

The current dominant vehicle technology globally is the internal combustion engine. But electric cars and two wheelers are rapidly making headway and in China there are already over 250 million electric two wheelers in use. Africa constitutes the last frontier for the automotive industry. Current levels of motorization are still exceptionally low, but vehicle transport is growing rapidly. With rapid economic and population growth, this is set to continue. Two questions then arise in the African context. Firstly, how rapid will the take up of electric vehicles be, in particular two wheelers? Secondly, where will these vehicles be produced? This paper explores these two questions and then goes on to argue for policies which will maximize the possibilities for the continent to leapfrog to electric technology for motorcycles by adopting proactive polices which yield not only environmental benefits but also potentially industrialization possibilities.

EfD Authors

Files and links

Sustainable Development Goals
Publication reference
Black, A., Barnes, J., Makundi, B. and Ritter, T. 2019. “Electric two-wheelers in Africa? Markets, production and policy”. PRISM Working Paper 2019-1. Cape Town: Policy Research on International Services and Manufacturing, University of Cape Town.
Publication | 17 March 2021