With electric vehicles (EVs) set to become more accessible to drivers around the world – and solid growth trends attracting public and private investment – several emerging markets are looking to expand their EV manufacturing capacity. EV uptake is essential to the global energy transition, as transport remains the industry with the highest reliance on fossil fuels, producing an estimated 37% of CO emissions from end-use sectors in 2021. The number of passenger EVs on the road is expected to triple globally by 2030 to over 77m, according to strategic research provider BloombergNEF.

New Brands

Although China currently dominates EV manufacturing, accounting for 57% of global output in 2021, several emerging markets have announced plans to jump-start domestic production. In March 2022 El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company (NASCO) signed a shareholders’ agreement with the National Automotive Company to establish Egypt’s first EV distributor, with the first EVs produced by NASCO hitting the market in 2023. That month NASCO signed a memorandum of understanding with Valeo Egypt, a subsidiary of the French automotive supplier of the same name, to design, develop and produce EV components.

Private players are also seeking to support the EV goals of North Africa’s most populous country. Shifting his investment from social media to green projects, Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour announced plans in November 2022 to produce 15,000 EVs in Egypt over the next three to five years via his company Al Mansour Automotive. Meanwhile, Brightskies, an Egyptian company specialising in EVs and power systems, signed an agreement with NASCO and the Engineering Automotive Manufacturing Company in February 2021 to produce the country’s first electric buses.

Elsewhere in MENA, in November 2022 Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, announced a partnership with Taiwan-based tech company Foxconn to manufacture the Kingdom’s first EVs by 2025. The brand, known as Ceer, is expected to draw more than $150m in foreign direct investment and contribute $8bn to the Kingdom’s GDP by 2034. In May 2022 Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources said the construction of a $2bn EV battery metals plant was already under way, in line with its aim of attracting $32bn of investment in its mining sector as part of ongoing economic diversification efforts.

Turkey has also joined the regional foray into EV manufacturing, with the first SUV models of its domestically produced Togg EVs set to reach the local market at the end of the third quarter of 2023. The country’s Automobile Joint Venture Group, the consortium behind the project, is planning to export the vehicles within 15 to 18 months of their first domestic sales.

Upgrading Infrstructure

Alongside manufacturing growth, the global charging industry is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 34.5% in 2022-30, as governments encourage the construction of EV infrastructure and award large-scale contracts. Additionally, the expansion of ride-sharing services and micromobility options could help drive EV uptake as an alternative to car ownership in urban environments.

The UAE, which boasts one of the biggest charging station-to-vehicle ratios in the world, plans to increase the number of EVs on its streets to 42,000 by 2030. Under way since 2015, Dubai’s EV Green Charger initiative aims to boost the number of charging stations in the UAE to meet expected demand; as of the end of 2022 there were 250 charging stations installed across the country. The first EV and battery logistics centre in MENA opened in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone in March 2022. It was designed to bolster the regional circular economy for EVs by providing an area where batteries can be stored, repaired, recycled or processed.

In late 2021, meanwhile, Egypt offered private sector players a 40% share in a new company established to oversee pay-to-use charging stations. At the time a total of 3000 charging stations were in the works, the first of which were set to be launched in Alexandria and Cairo.