Want to buy an EV? The electric vehicle industry in Egypt is still nascent — but options are available if you want to buy a new EV today. Price tags are relatively high, maintenance and repairs can be a challenge, and charging infrastructure is spotty right now. But between the rapid global transition to EVs, a government-led drive to localize the industry and get the needed infrastructure in place, and rising demand among a certain segment of the population, the market is set to boom by the end of this decade. Here’s your guide to which models are currently available, how much they’ll set you back — and some points to consider before you decide to make the switch.
There are already a handful of EVs on our roads: Almost 1.8k electric vehicles are licensed in Egypt, according to figures from the Egyptian Compulsory Motor Insurance Pool (ECIP) seen by Enterprise. Volkswagen’s ID line has been the most popular so far among Egyptian consumers, with licenses issued for about 336 vehicles between July 2021 and January 2023. Some 96 Tesla vehicles, 46 electric BMWs and 26 Porsche Models were licensed over the same period.
These purchases have mostly come through private imports: “The majority of sales have come through private or dealership-facilitated imports,” Tamer Kotb, commercial director at Abou Ghaly Motors, tells us. “Only a small fraction of the EVs available in the market have come through authorized agents with agreements with EV manufacturers.” Remember: EVs enter the country with zero customs duties.
EVs aren’t the easiest to maintain and repair right now: Those who can afford an EV may have cause to hesitate over maintenance and repair challenges, Kotb says. “People buying imported EVs through private or dealership facilitated imports will have to import spare parts if anything goes wrong and don’t have the benefit of technical support or warranty — which makes buying an EV a little risky,” Kotb tells us
Though an electric model could bring savings on maintenance down the road: “Over the long term there are a lot of savings from purchasing an EV. Maintenance and repair costs are 80-90% of your ordinary fossil-fuel powered car. There aren't as many components that break or require replacing so the total ownership cost is lower than a regular car over an eight or nine year period,” Kotb says.
Infrastructure is still a work in progress: Our friends at renewable energy player Infinity have built at least 190 charging stations so far nationwide,according to an interactive map from local player Electrified. The company is planning to up the number of its charging stations to 300 by 2024, part of a plan with the government to eventually set up 3k stations across the country.
You’ll likely want to invest in a home charging station: Even if you happen to have an EV charging station close to home, it's best to invest in a home charging station, Kotb says. A home charging station will use AC, or alternating current — the stuff that is transmitted through the national grid and comes out of your wall socket. While slower than the alternative — DC, or direct current — AC is cheaper. AC charging also avoids depleting your EV battery’s health, Kotb told us.
A home charging station costs roughly EGP 29k – 38k to buy and install, a representative at EV car dealership El Eman told us. You’ll also need a cable, which runs at around EGP 6k.
You folks say you’re eager to make the switch: Some 90% of respondents to our Enterprise EV survey late last year said they’re planning to buy an EV within the next 10 years — and one in five respondents said they’ll make a purchase in the next 12 months. Only 3% of those we surveyed already own an EV.
EVs could be your only option as soon as 2030: “If we look at 2030, almost all automotive manufacturers will exclusively be making EVs,” Kotb says. “So for a country like Egypt that relies on imports to meet demand for new cars, the transition is inevitable. People looking to buy new cars in about seven years from now will likely not be able to find any new models that aren’t electric.”
But it could be worth waiting until local assembly kicks off: Locally assembled vehicles — some of which could be sold at around EGP 300-350k, our sources tell us — will be crucial for EV adoption to really take off in Egypt, since imported EVs currently remain far more expensive than their fossil-fuel guzzling counterparts. Our first locally manufactured EVs could roll off production lines soon as the government works on incentives to localize the industry as part of its hotly anticipated automotive strategy. Several companies have recently announced plans to start local production:
Can’t wait? We spoke to a number of dealerships to find out just how much the currently available stock of EVs will set you back:
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