TUNISIA – Chinese carmaker BYD will invest in manufacturing electric vehicles and developing intelligent transport solutions in Tunisia.

BYD’s venture into the Tunisian electric vehicle market is not just a business move but a strategic alignment with the Tunisian government’s ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46% by 2030.

According to BYD’s Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa, Tunisia will partner with the Chinese group in its research and development (R&D) activities.

This partnership has garnered significant interest from Tunisia’s Minister of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Fatma Thabet Chiboub, who highlighted that the transport sector is the largest consumer of hydrocarbons in Tunis.

BYD’s official figures indicate that the brand sold nearly 3.1 million electric vehicles (cars, bicycles, and electric buses) in 2023 alone, marking a 61.9% increase in revenues compared to 2022.

This growth allows BYD to maintain its position as the world’s best-selling carmaker, surpassing American Tesla and other brands.

With BYD’s interest in future Chinese investments, Tunisia sees potential benefits, especially since BYD supplied the first electric bus (90 passengers, 250 km range) to the Tunisian capital in 2018.

Under President Kaïs Saïed, Tunisia has intensified efforts to promote electromobility. Recent measures include a 17% reduction in tax on imports of electric vehicle recharging equipment, a 10% reduction in customs duties, and a 7% reduction in value-added tax (VAT).

These measures, effective from January 1, 2023, are part of a broader program to promote electric mobility led by the Agence Nationale de maîtrise de l’énergie (ANME).

Ampersand deal in Rwanda

Recently, BYD signed an agreement with Rwandan start-up Ampersand to renew and expand its fleet of electric motorbikes in Africa.

The agreement covers the expansion of the start-up’s electric motorbikes in East Africa. As part of the collaboration, which is expected to accelerate “the decarbonization of the commercial motorbike transport system in Africa,” BYD will supply 40,000 lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells for Ampersand’s new e-motorbikes by 2026.

 “The transition from two-wheeled delivery vehicles to electric vehicle energy technology represents one of the most cost-effective opportunities in the world. At the same time, this transformation will save millions of hard-working motorcyclists US$600 a year, promoting clean economic prosperity,” explains Josh Whale, Ampersand’s CEO.

This new fleet will certainly make a difference among the 30 million fuel-powered motorbikes currently on the African continent.

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