electric mobility | Image credit ROAM

iThis time electric mobility has become the norm in Kenya. It will create thousands of new decent jobs, manage our unsustainable fuel costs and make a big contribution to better health. Fortunately, these three are at the heart of the Kenya Kwanzaa Manifesto. In this regard, I suggest that the Ruto administration prioritize electric mobility.

To further understand why electric mobility is the way to go, let’s take a little trip to Norway.

electric mobility
Dr. Isaac Kalua Green is the founder and chairman of the Green Africa Foundation

Imagine paying 50 percent less for parking than the regular parking fee. Imagine that you also travel for free Nairobi Expressway. This is what is happening in Norway with electric car drivers. They pay less for parking and zero tolls, among other tax exemptions. Not surprisingly, Norway has the highest number of electric cars per capita in the world. Indeed, in 2020. electric cars in this Scandinavian country accounted for almost 75 percent of all new car sales. Owners of these cars do not waste money on fuel!

This confirms the power of the policy to increase sales of electric vehicles. This is why Kenya needs to act quickly to enact and implement many key policies favorable to electric vehicles. For starters, there should be a zero rate or exemption from import and excise duties not only on electric vehicles, but also on their spare parts, batteries and equipment for charging stations. By the way, Rwanda adopted this political measure in 2021.

A practical incentive is to reduce corporate tax from 30% to 20% for the first five years for investors who operate electric car assembly plants and charging stations. This will accelerate the local production of companies such as Autopax Limited Company. India took similar action in 2017, leading to increased local production of electric vehicles.

For local electric mobility to flourish, there is a need for appropriate local production of advanced batteries. This will significantly reduce the cost of electric cars. Therefore, the government should encourage investment worth billions in this sector. In February of this year, the President of the United States The Joe Biden administration announced plans to invest Sh360 billion in strengthening the US supply chain for advanced vehicle batteries and energy storage.

With the right incentives, Kenya could attract multi-billion dollar investment in local manufacturing of advanced batteries.

Even more relevant for Kenya and other African countries, electric motorcycles and motorcycles are now becoming affordable for ordinary consumers. Given that the Boda Boda business is one of Kenya’s mainstays, there is a huge market for electric bikes. Their main attraction is their affordability, so existing local manufacturers should be fully supported.

Against this background, Honda, which is the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, plans to introduce 10 or more electric motorcycle models worldwide by 2025. In addition to this, it aims to increase annual sales of electric models to 1 million units over the next five years. This shows the wide market opportunities of electromobility. As in the case of electric vehicles, generous tax incentives will be of great importance in establishing and expanding the local production of electric motorcycles.

Indeed, electric mobility can reduce our high cost of living as we also create jobs, save lives and stimulate our economy. Think ecologically, act ecologically!

About the author:

Dr. Kalua Green is the founder and chairman Green Africa Foundation.an organization that was founded in 2000 and advocates for sustainable development in Africa.


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