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The Draft National E-Mobility Policy: Kenya’s Pathway to a Green Transport Industry

Under the Paris Agreement, state parties concluded an agreement to combat climate change by accelerating and intensifying actions and investments into achieving a low carbon future. Kenya, a signatory to the Paris Agreement, demonstrated its commitment to combating climate change through its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by which the country committed to reduce carbon emissions by 32% by 2030. However, like most countries in the world, Kenya is quite heavily reliant on fossil fuels as a source of energy. The transportation sector, in particular, utilizes about 72% of the country's total petroleum imports.


Electric Car

In a bid to achieve its NDC targets by drastically reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, Kenya’s Ministry of Roads and Transport, through the Electric Mobility Taskforce, published the Draft National E-Mobility Policy (the E-mobility Policy) to provide a “pathway towards a more sustainable, efficient and equitable transportation powered by e-mobility” and to “position Kenya as a leader in electric mobility transition in Africa”.



Key Highlights


The E-mobility Policy outlines seven policy objectives which identify critical issues relevant to a seamless transition to e-mobility and proposes the following measures:


a) development of an integrated and comprehensive policy, legal and regulatory framework to promote the adoption of E-mobility to combat the limited collaboration between government institutions involved in E-mobility and the inadequate legal framework, data collection and research on e-mobility in the country;


b) promotion of local manufacturing and assembly of Electric Vehicles (EVs) by enhancing the country’s capacity to manufacture and assemble EVs through the establishment of local manufacturing and assembly plants for EVs and the establishment of an up-stream ecosystem for EV components;


c) development and enhancement of E-mobility infrastructural capacity to accelerate the adoption of EVs by investing in essential infrastructure like adequate charging stations and reliable and affordable electricity, which is currently lacking in the country;


d) enhancement of local technical capacity and skills across the E-mobility value chain through measures such as the introduction of an E-mobility curriculum for Technical and Vocational Education and Training programs and mandating suppliers to integrate user training and provide manuals to their buyers with instructions on basic diagnostics and maintenance procedures for EVs;


e) improvement of fiscal and non-fiscal measures to accelerate the adoption of EVs through measures such as tax incentives for manufacturers and assemblers of EVs, including exempting them from import and excise duties, waiving vehicle registration fees for EVs, implementing electricity tariffs for EV charging stations and providing unique licence plates for EVs to enable them get preferential services;


f) upscaling socioeconomic measures to promote the adoption of EVs through targeted programs to incentivize women, people living with disabilities, and the youth to engage in economic activities enabled by E-mobility and enhancing financial inclusivity; and


g) reducing the government’s over-reliance on the Road Maintenance Levy collected on petroleum products by adopting measures such as alternative financing structures for road maintenance.


Potential Benefits of Implementation of the E-mobility Policy


In addition to the obvious benefit of reducing Kenya’s carbon footprint, implementing the E-mobility Policy could result in realising various other benefits for the country. These benefits include increased electricity coverage, reduced or eliminated blackouts, and lower electricity bills. Cheaper electricity would also reduce manufacturers' operational costs, potentially leading to increased margins and cheaper products. Further, the E-mobility Policy also provides an opportunity for investors, especially in relation to the installation of E-mobility infrastructure like charging stations and EV manufacturing and assembly plants, which would, in turn, create jobs for the Kenyan population.


Conclusion


The continued rise in global average temperatures makes it imperative for states to take measures to ensure they fulfil their NDCs under the Paris Agreement. With Kenya targeting a net-zero economy by 2050 in addition to its NDC under the Paris Agreement, the E-mobility Policy is a step in the right direction due to its potential to significantly lower the country’s reliance on petroleum products.


Please note that this is not legal advice and is intended primarily for information purposes. If you require tailored advice or further information, please contact us at sarinke@mckayadvocates.com.


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