The shift to electric vehicles in Western countries is expected to increase the flow of used cars to West African ports. This practice transfers climate and environmental issues to vulnerable nations while hindering their pollution reduction efforts. From 2015 to 2019, the global market for used vehicles grew by almost 20%, with the US exporting around 18% of all used cars. West Africa receives gas-guzzling cars from wealthy nations like the US, Japan, South Korea, and Europe, with Benin being a major importer of used cars in Africa.

Limited access to credit and affordability drive the demand for used cars in African countries. This demand is predicted to rise as the West adopts electric vehicles, creating an excess of available used cars for export. However, the quality of these vehicles often declines as older and more polluting models are sold. Weak regulations on emissions and safety in West Africa enable the entry of environmentally harmful and unsafe cars. While efforts to tighten regulations have been made, enforcement remains uncertain. Discussions are underway to regulate the export of old or junk cars to developing nations, but no firm commitments have been made yet. Transitioning to electric vehicles could be a solution, but significant improvements in charging infrastructure are needed. Currently, affordability remains the primary factor influencing car purchases in West Africa.