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More advance ways needed to phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles – COPEC

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The Executive Secretary at the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, has stated that Ghana needs to pace up its efforts to join the world towards phasing out fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

He also encouraged Ghana to embrace the electric vehicle revolution.

According to him, Ghana together with many other African countries are moving at a slow pace with electric vehicle revolution.

“If we do not act fast, we may not be able to derive the maximum benefits as expected”.

To him, due to the adverse effects of climate change, continuous fuel price hike, health effects of fumes inhalation, and ensuring air quality, the policy development process must be quickened.

While commending the government for developing a policy manual on electronic vehicles, he proposed that the policy must be comprehensive to ensure adequate technology transfer synchronized with the curriculum of specialized tertiary institutions, infrastructure development, and capacity building for mechanics.

“We should develop a comprehensive industry that looks at what we are evolving to as well as opportunities that exist for government and the steps that need to be taken. The draft document on technical regulations and policy framework will address technical issues on the mass deployment of electric vehicles in Ghana.

“It also seeks to ensure access to reliable, sustainable, and modern energy, reduce levels of hydrocarbons and particulate matter in ambient air, and deliver on international commitments within Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions regarding greenhouse-gases emissions by 15 per cent relative to a business-as-usual scenario emission by 2030” he said.

Mr Amoah further mentioned that the western countries where the majority of vehicles were sourced had a well-thought-out plan to go electric in the next 10 years hence “the need to double up our efforts.”

Commending Ghana and other African leaders for wooing automobile companies to establish assembling plants on the continent, he added that the focus should now be attracting electric vehicle producers.

Moreover, he suggested that Ghana as the host of the African Continental Free Trade Area should initiate steps to attract producers of electronic vehicles such as Tesla to partner with local companies including Kantanka Automobile to develop their capacity.

“Ghana will be on the right path if we bring in Tesla to build a plant in the country and train some of our young engineers to appreciate how electric motors work and how to fix them. When this is given the needed attention, we will be able to take the African market in the next five to ten years”.

In addition, Mr Amoah asserted that the import duties on electronic vehicles should be reduced as bait to attract the average person to opt for electric vehicles to enable the government to derive the needed income.

“Considering the income status of Ghanaians, we understand that most of these electric cars, even the hybrid ones, are usually 20-30 per cent more expensive than the hydrocarbon or fossil fuel versions so it is important not to make electronic car expensive”.

Meanwhile, the European Commission (EU) has unveiled a proposal to effectively ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in the EU from 2035, as part of its massive set of revised climate and energy legislation.

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