Commercial mini buses, also known as Trotro in Ghana, taxis, and private cars are to transition from fossil fuels to electric, the Ministry of Transport has said.
A Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to be piloted in Kumasi would make use of only electric vehicles.
This is to help prevent toxic emissions from fossil fuel vehicles entering the environment that warm the planet.
The transition is not expected to happen overnight, but as a gradual process, which is projected to take between 10 and 50 years.
Hassan Sulemana Tampuli, Deputy Minister for Transport, told journalists at a stakeholder consultation on electric vehicles (EVs) and the implementation framework in Accra, on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.
He said the transition was happening around the globe, and Ghana could not be left out.
The Deputy Minister indicated that instead of kicking against the change, the country must rather put mechanisms in place in order not to be taken over by events.
Mr. Tampuli reiterated that the change had been necessitated by the phenomenon of global warming and the environmental and health challenges being posed by carbon dioxide (CO2) release into the atmosphere by fossil fuel vehicles and the like.
He admitted that although Africa’s contribution to global CO2 emissions was insignificant, the task of saving the planet was every country’s responsibility.
He added that the consultation was to brainstorm with the various stakeholders in the transportation industry on the shortcomings of the policy, and a way forward.
On what happens to the over 4,000 petrol stations across the country, he said: “These stations will not immediately fold up, because the policy is just not going to be started tomorrow; it will take us a bit of time, and, from all indications, from 2030 to 2040, and that is quite some time.
“We are not going to immediately have EVs across the country, so definitely people will still consume petroleum products, and more importantly, heavy-duty vehicles and trucks will still consume petroleum products.”
And also, in order not to repeat the mistakes of countries like the United Kingdom, which, from the initial stages of the transition, lost about £35 billion from revenue they could have generated from petroleum duties, the Transport Ministry was working closely with the Ministry of Finance in that regard.
Furthermore, an inclusive consultation was being held on the nature and design of the country’s road networks.
He also advocated for the pace at which rural electrification was being rolled out to be accelerated for a smooth takeoff and soft landing of the policy.
The Deputy Minister commented on how the lithium-ion deposit in the country would contribute significantly to drive toward this agenda.
The Ministry is also in talks with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to fine-tune excise duties on the importation of EVs.
With energy, he said Ghana produces enough to meet its needs in that regard.
Most immediately, the point not to make Africa a dumping ground for fossil vehicles by the Northern countries as they transition has been well made by the African Heads of State and governments.