El Nasr Automotive’s deal in Egypt with Dongfeng could be a good model for other nations on the continent
Several African countries are considering reviving old motor vehicle assembly plants or developing new assembly plants. The automotive assembly industry, as well as the manufacturing of related components that stimulate downstream industries, is seen as a catalyst for economic growth, providing much needed job creation opportunities.
Ghana’s new automotive development policy has encouraged VW, Toyota and Nissan to consider opening assembly plants in the country. The Ghana Automotive Development Policy provides the necessary framework to establish assembly and manufacturing capabilities in Ghana. However, the VW plant in Ghana is currently focusing on vehicles with internal combustion engines. Zimbabwe’s Automotive Industry Development Policy (2017 – 2030) aims to resuscitate and promote local motor vehicle assembly and curb the influx of used vehicles. But the policy also focuses mainly on internal combustion engines and the manufacture of associated components.
Any retooling of old assembly plants, resuscitation of component manufacturers, as well as the opening of new factories on the continent must be forward-looking and aligned with global automotive trends. Egyptian El Nasr Automotive’s deal with Dongfeng to go straight into the production of all-electric vehicles as they resurrect the old assembly plant could be a good model for other countries on the continent to follow. Egyptian Public Affairs Minister Hisham Tawfik said production of the fully electric “Nasr E70” car is expected to start in mid-2022. El Nasr entrusted Dongfeng with the modernization of its current factory.
El Nasr Automotive, which opened its first factory in 1960 and ceased production in 2009, will have a makeover and will initially produce 25,000 battery-electric vehicles per year. These vehicles will be intended for the local market and this capacity may be increased according to demand. Dongfeng is also studying the possibility of exporting vehicles to Europe in the next phase. One of the main stakeholders involved is the Egyptian Taxi Association. 14,000 vehicles will initially be intended for the taxi industry.
The first model to be produced at the factory is the E70. Dongfeng’s E70 is a 5-seater sedan with a 50.8 kWh battery and an NEDC range of 400 km. Its maximum charging power (AC) is 7 kW and 60 kW on the DC side. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h is indicated in 9.9 seconds. Its top speed is 150 km / h (93 mph) and its maximum power is 112 kW (150 hp). The E70 will cost around $ 20,370, which makes it quite competitive in this part of the world.
Egypt’s public charging infrastructure has also grown considerably in recent years. Several firms are now very active in this market. Infinite and Zetecheg each now has well over 100 charging stations. The Egyptian government has actively promoted the adoption of electric vehicles. They have allowed imports of used electric vehicles as long as they are not older than 3 years while maintaining the ban on used ICE vehicles. This has helped increase the electric vehicle population in Egypt, although estimates still put the total number of registered electric vehicles at less than 2,000.
The introduction of the locally assembled E70 will go a long way in accelerating the transition to electric vehicles in Egypt. Egypt has a target of at least 58% local components in electric vehicles assembled in Egypt in the near future and which will catalyze business growth in associated downstream industries. These types of partnerships could be a good start for countries looking to develop their auto industry. High-capacity electric buses could be another area that countries could focus on to solve the public transport problems present in many countries on the continent.
Image courtesy of Dongfeng