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TotalEnergies Marketing has urged the federal government to amend customs duty requirements to facilitate the import of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment.

The French multinational made the call following the inauguration of its first EV charging station on Africa Avenue (Bole Road) on June 20, 2024.

The fast-charging station is capable of servicing three cars simultaneously and is compatible with all EV types..

Christophe Ferrand, managing director for TotalEnergies Marketing Ethiopia, highlighted several regulatory and economic challenges that need addressing to support the company’s expansion ambitions.

“The regulation needs to address several issues, including determining the final price for customers, customs issues related to importing facilities, and the low profit margin from fuel sales which affects our capacity to invest and renovate stations,” Ferrand told The Reporter.

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TotalEnergies Ethiopia is integrating EV charging points into its gas stations to align with the government’s strategic shift toward renewable energy, according to Ferrand.

Still, he noted that the majority of their customers still rely on traditional fuel products, indicating a gradual transition rather than an immediate shift.

“I cannot compare profits from fuel [sales] and electric charging stations, but regarding the fuel activities, the government increased the margin of profit a few years ago, but still Ethiopia is the lowest in the world,” said Ferrand.

The lack of charging stations in the country is becoming a more pressing problem as the number of EVs on Ethiopia’s roads climbs.

In response, the Petroleum & Energy Authority is drafting a new directive to use existing gas station infrastructure for EV charging.

This policy will outline specifications, permit processes, and pricing models for establishing EV charging stations. The Addis Ababa Transport Bureau is also encouraging private investment in this sector.

TotalEnergies operates over 150 gas stations in Ethiopia, with about half owned by the company, which has been present in the country for close to seven decades.

The company accommodates both AC and DC charging connectors, suitable for all vehicle types. AC chargers are ideal for long-term charging at home or workplaces, delivering power from 3.7 KVA to 43 KVA, while DC chargers, providing up to 350 kW, cater to EV owners needing rapid charges.

EV owners are recommended to charge their vehicles between 20 percent and 80 percent to maintain optimal battery health, as charging speed drops significantly after 80 percent.

The federal government has ambitions to see more than 2,200 charging stations opened over the coming decade, with more than half in Addis Ababa.

TotalEnergies operates over 55,000 charging points globally.

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