Accraine leads Ghana On Electric Car Adoption
…Says EVs are money-saver and environmental-friendly
Accraine Limited was one of the renewable energy companies that exhibited during the 5th Ghana Renewable Energy Fair. The company, however, stole the show at the exhibition hall with its brand new electric car on display as most participants tried to catch a glimpse of the car; others took pictures while some got closer and asked questions to understand how the electric car works.
The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Patrick Amoah in chat the Editor of Orient Energy Review, Peace Obi said it is high time African countries, particularly his dear country, Ghana switched to electric vehicles, stressing that it is a better alternative for Africa to stave off the growing burden of fuel dependency, pollution and its attendant health hazard.
Tell us about Accraine and the electric car on display.
Accraine supplies Electric vehicles, Electric vehicle charging solution, solar panels, solar carport, solar lighting, solar fridge/freezer, solar air conditioning, solar water pump, batteries and other renewable energy products.
It was founded following years of experience in the automotive industry and passion for renewable energy.
This car is manufactured by Nissan and it is the first generation Leaf; we also have the second generation as well as other ones. Most electric cars can be charged using a DC or AC charger. DC chargers are mainly CHademo or CCS combo whereas AC is the slow charger.
How long does it take to charge?
The fast charger takes 30 minutes or less, the medium charging takes about 4 hours and the slow one takes about eight hours. So you can leave it over night to charge.
Which energy source can be used in charging the car?
You can use electricity or solar.
Why did Accraine choose to lead the way in introducing electric car in Ghana?
Having participated in some of the global renewable projects, I thought bringing this solution to my country could eliminate the need or the cost of fuel as well as reducing our carbon footprint which damages the environment in Ghana because we have too many old cars on the road. We believe this solution will help the taxi drivers and also create more jobs.
The beauty of switching to electric car is that when you have power cut off, you can use it to power your house which is called “vehicle to grid”.
‘Vehicle to grid’ technology, also referred to as ‘V2G’ enables energy stored in electric vehicles to be fed back into the national electricity network (or ‘grid’) to help supply energy at times of peak demand.
Do you think the time is ripe for Ghana and Africa as a whole to switch to electric cars?
Yes, I think this is the best time for Africa to take the leap and advance along with the technological and climate change demand around the world. Ghana and Africa as a whole need to reduce its dependency on fossil fuel and unlock the huge benefits of saving the environment.
As the call for the adoption of cleaner energy sources soars, the use of electric cars in Africa is the right thing to do and a perfect solution for climate change. We are convinced that the time is ripe for Africa particularly as we keep getting demands for electric cars.
People are asking for electric cars; they want to switch to a more affordable and sustainable energy source both for power generation and automobile uses. Most importantly, we need to reduce pollution to enjoy a longer life.
The major challenge to adopting renewable energy sources in Africa has been attributed to the high cost of the products, do you think electric cars are affordable to Ghanaians?
Yes, it is! However, the major challenge is the duty paid in bringing them in. Obviously, the government needs to subsidize the cost of electric vehicles. But even at that, the cost of electric car is still good because its price is pretty similar to that of internal combustion engine (ICE). So, our main plan now is to install our charging stations around Ghana so that people can actually charge it same way they go to petrol stations.
How long have been marketing this product?
We started marketing EV since last year June. We are here at the exhibition so that people can see it and ask questions on how it works because a lot of people are worried that they will get stuck while on a long-distance journey.
And our explanation is this, “it is like you driving your ICE car when you see that the fuel gauge going down, you top it up. It is the same, once you notice that the battery level is going down, you top it up by charging the car. You can charge it anywhere as long as there is electricity.
What is your advice to the government as regards to adopting renewable energy sources particularly on electric cars?
I am appealing to the government to reduce the duty on electric cars. The duty is 20 per cent of the original manufacture price which is a lot. This makes it expensive for taxi drivers and private people to purchase it.
I am, therefore, appealing to the government to support us because electric car is the future for Africa. As a Ghanaian company, we need more support in order for us to push more vehicles into the market.