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GENERAL MOTORS GOES ELECTRIC: IS THE ELECTRIC AGE AFRICA’S DOOM?


As many companies and states shift to the use of clean energy beyond the use of fossil fuel powered cars, General Motors a known manufacturer of gasoline and diesel-powered cars has announced its plan towards an all-electric, zero-emission cars in the future. The new program and initiative are going to start with two new fully electric models next year. This will be increased to 18 more by 2023.

With this decision, the company has been put at the forefront of car manufacturers who want to shift from gasoline and diesel cars to the use of electricity. Other automakers that have made similar announcements include; Volvo Aston Martin and Jaguar Landrover.

General Motors is today reputed as the largest automaker in the world. It sold 10 million cars last year which covered SUVs to urban runabouts.

According to the product head, Mark Reuss, “General Motors believes the future is all-electric. We are far along in our plan to lead the way to that future world.”

General Motors, however, did not disclose when the production of gasoline cars will be stopped but stated that the transition will happen at different speeds for various markets and regions. The cars will be a mix of battery electric cars and fuel cell-powered vehicles.

The emergence of the electric age is kicking off rapidly with countries like France, Great Britain, Netherlands and Norway announcing their plans to ban the use of fossil cars in the coming decades. China being the largest car market and India plans to join as well.

At this rate, it then means that no car maker will compete favourably on a global scale without a stable production of electric cars.

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General Motors (GM) as a major global player intends to grab the Chinese market as fast as possible. It had previously announced plans to launch 10 electric cars in China by 2020. The company started selling two-seat EV this summer and they sold for $5,300.

GM, in fact, sold more cars in China (3.6 million) more than it sold in the US (3 million).

For the US, the challenge is how these automakers will make money from these cars. A report shows that General Motors loses $9,000 on each Chevy Bolt that is sold. According to the product head, their strategy is to reduce costs and with the drop in battery prices, they can make more efficient and lighter cars.

Massive sale global is equally a strategy for them. “This next generation will be profitable. End of Story,” he said.

Africa for this Future

There is no doubt that the world is going faster towards clean energy usage and with the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the UN community, it has received world acceptance by Western powers of the developed countries. African nations interestingly signed this charter but are we really ready or making any headway to go clean in energy usage?

The Western powers are the manufacturers of everything (no thanks to missed Industrial Age), are we going to keep importing the new clean cars and probably the energy required to power them.

Nigeria as the leading nation of the continent is yet to get the power situation right in the country, how then would we be able to cope with the plan to stop manufacturing fossil-fuel powered cars and switch to electric without even a year of an all-year power supply across the country?

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General Motors has taken a decision and as a leading automaker that can shake up the industry worldwide. Is this a doom for Africa and Nigeria?

 

Credit: WIRED


About Chukwuemeka Azubuike

Architect, Construction Manager, Writer, Blogger and a Blogger’s Writer

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