• May 27, 2024
  • Last Update May 26, 2024 7:22 PM
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Task Force asks County Government to support development of Electric Vehicles infrastructure

Task Force asks County Government to support development of Electric Vehicles infrastructure

Nakuru,

Friday, April 19, 2024,

KNA by Anne Mwale/Dennis Rasto

The Task Force on Electric Mobility (E-Mobility) has called on county governments to support collaborations and initiatives by both public agencies and the private sector aimed at growing infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Ibrahim Kinyanjui, a taskforce member said the public and private sectors will only be motivated to channel financial resources in the development of EV infrastructure, including development of charging stations in urban centres and along major highways if devolved units formulated and implemented supportive policies.

Mr Kinyanjui stated that county governments should prioritize creation of a conducive business and investment environment by setting up incentives to attract and retain investors in the EVs sector.

He said this includes reducing administrative and regulatory costs of doing business, creating clear implementable strategies for ensuring stability and security and development of transparent county level public financial systems.

Speaking after E-Mobility Task Force team held a public participation forum in Nakuru to gather views on the Draft National E-Mobility Policy, Kenya, he indicated that the promotion of EVs and the development of a robust charging infrastructure are not just environmental actions but also strategic business moves towards energy independence and long-term economic stability.

Mr Kinyanjui noted that some of the critical issues the policy is addressing with county governments are the range anxiety and affordability of EVs.

He added that adoption of EVs by Kenyans presents an opportunity to mitigate environmental degradation as a result of greenhouse emissions, while addressing effects of climate change.

He said that the National E-mobility Policy will contribute to the national development of environmental growth and sustenance through emission of clean energy gases, which are safe for the environment.

He added that the move by the road sector to come up with a policy for roadside hospitality facilities will provide a strategic position for the electronic chargers, where EVs can recharge on the roads.

Mr Kinyanjui pointed out that the major concern is creating awareness about e-mobility’s role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“Understanding is the main issue from this forum and others; in terms of how to charge, where, how long it covers per charge, there is a lot of awareness that needs to be done for people to understand and adopt electric vehicles.

”He affirmed that the introduction of EVs will not only bring growth to the country’s infrastructure but also create employment opportunities for the people.

He assured transport stakeholders that their views would be incorporated into the final document before it is handed over to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Roads.

‘’This is a comprehensive policy that looks at the entire value chain of the EV mobility landscape in Kenya,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

He went on, “The policy will go a long way towards greening our country, taking us away from greenhouse emissions and toxic fumes that are emitted when we use Internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV) and into a cleaner and more sustainable way of transporting ourselves.”

The policy, according to Mr Kinyanjui, will create a profitable and protective space for those who will move from ICEVs to EVs.

E-mobility’s coming to market is one of the steps the government is taking in line with the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) it submitted in 2020 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, which committed to reducing emissions by 32 percent by 2030.

The policy is geared to play a pivotal role in the adoption of e-mobility in the transport sector through the provision of a transition framework from the use of Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEVs) to Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Kenya’s e-mobility policy is in line with the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) 2023-2027, Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) 2022-2050 and the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) through which Kenya targets a 32 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

At the moment, the total number of EVs registered in the country stands at 4047.

Flamingo Boda Boda Riders Association Chairman Mr Kamau Ng’ang’a indicated that the government should actively work on initiatives to make electric vehicles affordable and accessible.

These, he added, include incentives such as tax exemptions, reduced import duties, and subsidies for EV purchases.

Mr Ng’ang’a said Kenya will be able to create an egalitarian e-mobility landscape that benefits the environment and the entire population by implementing policies encouraging EV adoption across all income levels.

According to the chairman the transition holds the potential to revitalize the Kenyan economy and transform livelihoods.

“One notable aspect is the reduction of fossil fuel imports, which can significantly improve a nation’s balance of payments. Secondly a boda boda operator in Nakuru averagely makes Kshs 1,000 per day and spends Shs 600 on fuel. This means that 60 percent of our daily wages are gobbled by fuel,” observed Mr Ng’ang’a.

He hailed EVs as a step in the right direction of reducing operation costs of riders by over 80 percent adding that the rise of e-mobility is anticipated to stimulate innovation and create new job opportunities in areas such as battery manufacturing, charging infrastructure development, and software engineering.

Mr Ng’ang’a said that the draft policy should also identify the role played by the private sector and other government agencies to the economy in terms of transport, so as to bring on board all stakeholders for successful implementation.

He added that by addressing challenges and embracing opportunities, Kenya is poised to lead the way in sustainable transportation, setting an inspiring example for other countries.

Kenyatta Avenue Boda-Boda Union’s spokesman Mr Francis Kariuki observed that considering that Boda Boda business is one of Kenya’s mainstays, there is a massive market for e-bikes.

He said their main attraction is their affordability to maintain which is why existing local makers must be fully supported.

Mr Kariuki urged boda boda operators to go electric to reduce their carbon footprint.

He observed that maintenance of EVs is relatively cheap, as they would only require charging as compared to other vehicles, hence enabling people to save on fuel.

He acknowledged that Nakuru has one charging point but said that the county government needs to encourage investors to set up charging points through incentives like tax rebates and setting aside of road reserves for setting up charging points along the roads.

Mr Kariuki advised the two levels of government to devise ways of reducing the prices of EVs, like through exemption of VAT on spare parts and tax rebates.

Courtesy; KNA

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