Kenya can accelerate e-mobility uptake by reviewing the taxation, standards, importation and registration of electric vehicles. Policies in favour of e-mobility are expected to significantly reduce the transport sector’s carbon emissions.
Several studies funded by GIZ and conducted by Strathmore University in collaboration with Knights Energy recommend so.
Largely, the studies suggest that tax reliefs or exemptions for electric vehicle components can boost e-mobility in the country. Such measures can spur local assembly, conversion, and manufacturing of electric vehicles, observes the report titled, ‘Importation and taxation of electric vehicles in Kenya: Proposals for alignment of the registration process.’
One of the researchers who participated in the study, Ignatius Maranga of Strathmore Energy Research Centre (SERC), says the studies identified barriers that hinder further uptake of electric vehicles in the country.
A report compiled from the study notes that, “since Kenya doesn’t manufacture electric vehicles, importation and taxation plays a key role in the availability and affordability of vehicles. Taxation is a determinant of the final price of electric vehicles.”
The study is funded by the Advancing Transport Climate Strategies in Rapidly Motorising Countries project (TraCS). TraCS is a project implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is funded through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
Kenya aims to reduce its overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030 compared to the business as usual scenario.
National data shows that the transport sector accounts for about 20 percent of Kenya’s total GHG emissions. The emissions are increasing at a faster rate than in any other sector, hence the need to reduce them.
A TraCS analysis shows that an increased uptake of electric mobility has the second highest mitigation potential.
The report identifies electric mobility as a key factor to contribute to Kenya’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) of GHG emissions.
Mr. Maranga, quality engineer at SERC, says the year-long study carried out in 2020 looked at the e-mobility status in the country. It examined the existing tax regime, the status of standards on electric vehicles, and the registration of imported EVs by the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA).
The report recommends that the Government establishes an electric mobility inter-agency team consisting of relevant public sector institutions. The team can comprise institutions such as the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), NTSA, the State Department of Transport, the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment, other stakeholders, and the private sector.
This article was first published in the Sunday Nation under the Climate Action series on 27th August 2023 by firstname.lastname@example.org
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