Kenya prepares for electric motor vehicles as new policy is launched

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The policy that is set to be subjected to public participation will now be examined by Kenyans as they propose ways of improving it.

The government on Wednesday set a motion to promote and enhance the growth of electric vehicles after it launched the first Electric Mobility Draft Policy.

Roads and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, who presided over the launch at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, termed the move a pivotal point for the country as it gears towards protecting the environment and the health of citizens.

"We are at a point where we need to choose between new ideas and the old ways of doing things. Kenya is ready to make far-reaching changes that will not only improve how we travel but also help our environment and economy," said Murkomen.

He said the policy to guide e-mobility is an indication that the government is committed to popularising electric vehicles in the country. He thanked the taskforce that came up with the policy for the good work they have done in assembling Kenya's first national electric mobility policy.

"I am impressed by your professionalism and the many hours you have put into this document. Thank you very much. I am confident that this document will produce groundbreaking legislative and regulatory proposals that will drive forward the country's nascent e-mobility industry," said Murkomen.

The policy that is set to be subjected to public participation will now be examined by Kenyans as they propose ways of improving it. The resulting document will guide efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and cement our global leadership in renewable energy.

The CS noted that the country's transport sector is powered mostly by fossil fuels, and uses about 72 per cent of imported petroleum products. According to him, greenhouse gas emissions from the sector are projected to increase from 13 per cent in 2015 to 17 per cent by 2030.

"Air pollution from these emissions and climate change threaten our health, our economy, and our very lives. Transportation, a sector vital to our nation's prosperity, is a significant contributor to our carbon footprint, accounting for a substantial portion of global greenhouse gas emissions," added Murkomen.

He also stated that the urgency of transitioning to cleaner, more sustainable transportation solutions cannot be overstated.

"The policy, which will guide the development of electric mobility in all transportation modes – roads, rail, air and maritime – will provide a transition framework from the current internal combustion engine. The policy will also address the supply, demand, infrastructure, and consumer side of EVs."

He outlined that the policy offers several benefits. Environmentally, it promises a significant reduction in emissions, contributing to cleaner air and a healthier population. Economically, it signals a future with lower operating costs, reduced dependency on imported fuels, and the creation of green jobs.

Socially, it means cleaner cities and enhanced public health. Technologically, it places Kenya at the forefront of innovation, setting a benchmark for integrating renewable energy and setting up cleaner transportation systems across Africa.

He rallied a call to all stakeholders -Government officials, business leaders, communities, and international partners — to join hands in supporting the initiative.

"I'll be approaching the Cabinet with a proposal for a phased fleet replacement programme for all government vehicles, from internal combustion engines to EVs. This will, in the long run, save taxpayers billions of shillings on fuel and other maintenance costs, not to mention the immense environmental benefits," said Murkomen.

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