Nissan Leaf Rebuilding Project In Zimbabwe


October 6th, 2020 by  

The majority of vehicles (ICE or EV) that are imported into most of sub-Saharan Africa are used vehicles from Europe, Asia, and America. Record EV sales are being registered across several key source markets such as Germany for left-hand drive vehicles and the United Kingdom for right-hand drive vehicles which will eventually add to the growing inventory of used EVs. These used EVs are starting to find their way to a lot of African countries.

Increasing the penetration of EVs will also go a long way in improving the air quality via reduced CO2 emissions. And we have looked at how driving electric is much cheaper than driving ICE vehicles in Africa in part 1, part 2, and part 3, which is a plus for consumers shopping for used EVs in these markets. There are now over 7 million EVs on the roads worldwide, which is why we think that this could be an opportunity for used EVs to start coming into Africa in larger volumes to displace a significant number of these used ICE vehicles. As the number of EVs on the road grows, there is now an urgent need to train automotive technicians to be ready to work on all these EVs.

Nissan Leafs: Images by Remeredzai Kuhudzai

Taurayi Raymond Sewera wants to help address this gap starting in Zimbabwe. He is setting up the International Institute of Automotive Technology Training (IIATT) with a major focus on PHEV and BEVs. The IIATT in Harare, Zimbabwe, wants to train technicians and first responders on hybrid and electric vehicles, including 3 Master Technician Certifications, which are the Master Transit Bus Technician, Master Medium/Heavy Truck Technician, and Master Automobile Technician by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Taurayi Raymond Sewera, Nissan Leaf Rebuilding Project in Zimbabwe, Electric Drive Africa

It was during his frequent trips to the US that he began transitioning from just a Master Technician for ICE vehicles to an ASE Certified Advanced Level Specialist in hybrid and electric cars.

Nissan Leaf Rebuilding Project in Zimbabwe, Electric Drive Africa

One of the questions people ask about electric cars (after the range/how far can it go on a full charge, and where will they charge the car?) of course, is what is involved in maintaining and servicing an EV and if there are any people in this part of the world to look at your car in the event you need something checked? So it’s good to see some developments in this area. Africa is not on the radar of most of the traditional OEMs in the auto industry that are bringing out, planning to, or are being compelled to bring out EVs due to stricter emission rules in Europe and other markets. 

Nissan Leaf Rebuilding Project in Zimbabwe, Electric Drive Africa

Many official dealerships in Africa are not preparing for EVs as quickly as they should be to help catalyze the adoption of EVs. This leaves a big opportunity for certified independent garages and technicians to try and fill this gap. Above is a video of Taurayi working on a 2011 Nissan Leaf rebuild project in Harare Zimbabwe .

Nissan Leafs: Featured image and other images by Remeredzai Kuhudzai 


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About the Author

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since.

At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.

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