Local vehicle manufacturer Kantanka Automobile is set to debut commercial production of electric cars this year for the domestic and international markets.
The company’s General Manager, Mr Francis Kudjorjie, said in an interview that Kantanka had successfully completed a pilot phase of electric car manufacturing, paving the way for full commercialisation by December this year.
The move will represent a major leap in the young history of Kantanka Automobile, which is in its humble days with market acceptance gradually picking up.
The general manager said the successful introduction of electric cars would be “a mover for the nation”.
“We are already complaining about fuel increases but with the coming in of electric cars, we believe that it will cut down most of our demand for fuel and move the nation forward,” he said on July 17.
Unlike normal cars which rely on petrol, diesel or gas to function, electric cars are powered by electricity, making them a preferred option for a world fighting to contain the increasing emission of carbon dioxide and its effects on global warming.
Here in Ghana, embracing electric cars will serve an extra good for the economy: it could help cut down fuel imports and smoothen out the inflationary and foreign exchange pressures that the intermittent increase in fuel prices have on inflation, the cedi and other macroeconomic indices.
On how the company is revising its strategies to meet new trends in the automobile business, Mr Kudjorjie said his outfit had been experimenting with the idea for the past three years.
Within the period, he said, the company had come out with various prototypes of electric cars in its bid to develop a product that could meet customer expectations.
“Currently, we have three models of the electric cars that have undergone tests and have passed.
“So we are now moving on to the commercialisation of the electric cars and by the end of this year or early next year, we will be rolling out electric cars,” he said.
Kantanka Automobile, a subsidiary of the Kantanka Group of Companies, was founded by Dr Kwadwo Safo of Kristo Asafo fame.
The company started commercial production and sale of vehicles in 2015.
Since then, its general manager says, it has been growing on an annual basis.
Touching on sales, Mr Kudjorjie said 2018 had been exciting with about 300 vehicles sold so far.
Last year, he said the company sold some 400 units locally.
“This year, sales have been good. We have just crossed the first half of the year and we have made 300 sales so far,” he said.
Export to Zimbabwe
Mr. Kudjorjie called on the government to use policy to support the company to grow.
He said car manufacturers in Japan, Korea, and China thrived on the back of government intervention, compared to Ghana where support had been minimal.
“What we are looking at is for the government to come out with a clear-cut policy for the automobile industry with specifics.
“So that we will know how much tax we are cutting off importation of automotive parts meant for manufacturing and assembling and how much tax holidays are for infant companies. If we do this, there is going be a boom and more jobs will be created, taxes will increase and the tax net will be widened,” he said.
He added that the company had been getting various requests from prospective customers outside the country and it was confident of making its first export to Zimbabwe “very soon”.