ETHIOPIA – Marathon Motors, a car engineering company owned by of Olympic record holder Ethiopian athlete and investor, Athlete Haile Gebrselassie, has introduced the first electric car assembled in Ethiopia.
The car can be charged at home like a cellphone and can travel 304 kilometres after fully charged. In addition, a 50 kilowatts portable charger can also charge the car fully in 30 minutes.
When the production of the car increases, Marathon Motors also aims to install charging stations across the country like gas stations.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali received the first electric car fully assembled locally by a Hyundai dealership, Marathon Motors. The Prime Minster noted that such investments “support the country’s climate resilience and greening ambitions.”
Marathon Motors was reported to have invested half a billion birr (KSh1.5 billion) on the assembly plant. The assembly plant has the capacity to assemble 10,000 cars per year.
In Ethiopia currently about half of the population of the country around 50 millions don’t most of them in rural areas have access to electricity. Major cities including the capital, Addis Ababa are also been experiencing power outage frequently.
At the moment level Ethiopia produces around 4,200 megawatts of electricity. When the highly anticipated mega hydro-dam of the country Great Ethiopian Reconnaissance Dam (GERD) goes fully operational, it is expected at least to double the current electric power of Ethiopia after a few years.
The Marathon Motor Engineering, Plc. is a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Company and Haile Gebrselassie. The company is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was founded in 2009. The firm is the official general importer of Hyundai vehicles in Ethiopia.