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Electric car users in Ghana call for reduction in import taxes

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Operators of electric vehicles in Ghana have told Citi Business News they are yet to enjoy tax-free solutions stated by the finance minister in the 2019 budget presentation.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta had in the budget presentation of the area of green initiatives said the Minister of Energy would introduce the tax to promote the shift from fuel-based vehicles to electric vehicles.

But the operators say they are yet to enjoy such initiative.

They instead argue that they are made to pay huge taxes at the ports on each electric vehicle they import which they say is unfavorable to their business.

Operations Manager at Solar Taxi Ghana, Arnold Anokye Amoateng says a reduction in import duty can help achieve the country’s aim of shifting from fuel used vehicles to electric ones.

On each vehicle, we paid between 60 to 80 percent of the cost of the vehicle. We realize that the tax on the importation of the vehicle parts was really high because our vehicles are not going to emit fuel, we were hoping the government will reduce the import duty to enable us to bring in more to meet the government’s agenda by 2020,” he argued.

Mr. Amoateng further says the government is yet to respond to their call on reaching an agreement with them.

“Some weeks ago the Energy Commission stated they want about 200 electric vehicles in Ghana by the end of 2020. So, we reached out to them and gave them our plans and specifics of what we actually wanted but they are yet to respond to us,” he added.

Currently, government charges about nine levies on every vehicle imported into the country including VAT, NHIL as well as the ECOWAS levy.

About Solar Taxi Ghana

Solar Taxi Ghana is a project initiated by the MasterCard Foundation to alleviate poverty and create employment opportunities for young people while protecting the environment by leveraging on energy harnessed from the sun to drive solar-powered vehicles.

The pilot phase of the project was spearheaded by Kumasi Hive over 11 months (September 2018 – July, 2019).

With support from the MasterCard Foundation, Solar Taxi Ghana has taken crucial steps in creating an economic and environmental impact on Ghanaian communities by using cleaner alternative sources of energy for transportation.

The large outcry about the problems arising from climate change necessitated the introduction of Solar Taxi’s with a fleet of electric vehicles into the Ghanaian transport industry to help fight this menace.

Research has shown that about 70% of fumes that destroys the ozone layer comes from city centers and the dominant activities are vehicular movements.

In order to reduce the exhaust fumes released into the atmosphere from these vehicles into the atmosphere, these electric vehicles have been introduced because the produce no fumes and make no noise.

In effect, it solves noise and air pollution as well as reducing the depletion of the ozone layer.

Thus, contributing to the achievement of the 13th goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)

These fleet of electric vehicles include a mini car, electric passenger tricycles, cargo tricycles and motor tricycles.

The parts of these vehicles are imported into the country and they are assembled locally.

These vehicles can be charged using the conventional electricity from the national grid, but because of the unreliable nature of our electricity, a solar hub has been designed locally to replace the power provided by the national grid.

Solar Taxi Ghana aims to explore avenues closer to technology and hardware to equip women with skills in emerging technologies, which will further stimulate their interest in renewable energy.

These opportunities will provide young women with unique training experience and a budding network of like-minded individuals pursuing social change through innovation.

SolarTaxi has found means of empowering the local people by initiating the female driver training academy which seeks to extensively train women on how to operate electric vehicles while providing them with insights on road safety regulation, maintenance of electric vehicles and the need for having a clean and reliable form of transportation.

The female driver training academy will build self-confidence and road knowledge of these women and ultimately allows them to begin the acquisition of their driving license. The benefits of this training are that a growing number of young women are provided the opportunity to learn practical and life-long skills, and most importantly, there is an increased awareness on renewable energy and clean forms of transportation.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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