Kenya’s Draft E-Mobility Policy sets the stage for EV industry revolution

  • 5 Apr 2024
  • 3 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Kennedy Osore

Kenya, known for its commitment to sustainable development and environmental conservation, has taken a significant stride towards embracing electric mobility (e-mobility) with the recent launch of its Draft National E-Mobility Policy. This strategic move aligns with the country’s broader economic transformation agenda and underscores its dedication to meeting national development and environmental objectives as outlined in the Kenya Vision 2030 Agenda and the Fourth Medium Term Plan 2023-2027.

The proposed National Electric Mobility Policy, or the e-Mobility Policy, aims to foster an enabling environment conducive to the growth and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across the country. By delineating comprehensive objectives and accompanying policy measures, the country endeavors to unlock the potential of e-mobility to drive socio-economic progress while mitigating environmental challenges associated with traditional fossil fuel-based transportation systems.

The objectives of the e-Mobility Policy are multi-faceted, addressing various aspects critical to the successful integration of EVs into Kenya’s transport landscape.

  1. a)   Policy Framework Development

Establishing an integrated and comprehensive policy and legal and regulatory framework is paramount to promoting the adoption of e-mobility. By providing clear guidelines and standards, the government aims to create certainty and confidence among stakeholders, facilitating smoother transitions to EVs.

  1. b)   Local Manufacturing & Assembly

Encouraging local production and assembly of EVs stimulates economic growth and fosters technological advancement and job creation within the country. Through targeted incentives and support measures, Kenya seeks to attract investments in local manufacturing and bolster domestic EV production capabilities.

  1. c)   Infrastructure Development

Enhancing e-mobility infrastructure, including charging networks and supportive utilities, is essential to accelerate EV adoption. By setting targets for infrastructure deployment and ensuring interoperability and accessibility, the government aims to address range anxiety and promote widespread EV usage.

  1. d)   Technical Capacity Building

Developing local expertise and skills across the e-mobility value chain is crucial for sustaining the industry’s growth trajectory. Through educational initiatives, research incentives and training programs, Kenya aims to cultivate a skilled workforce capable of driving innovation and supporting EV development and maintenance.

  1. e)   Fiscal and Non-Fiscal Measures

Providing incentives and removing barriers to EV adoption is pivotal in spurring market uptake. By offering tax exemptions, streamlining import processes and implementing supportive financing mechanisms, the government intends to make EVs more accessible and attractive to consumers and businesses alike.

  1. f)     Socioeconomic Promotion

Ensuring inclusivity and equity in e-mobility adoption is imperative for maximising its societal benefits. Through targeted programmes and incentives, Kenya seeks to empower underrepresented groups, such as women, youth, and persons with disabilities, to actively participate in and benefit from the e-mobility transition.

  1. g)   Reducing Reliance on Fossil Fuel Levies

Diversifying road maintenance funding sources away from traditional petrol and diesel levies is essential for long-term sustainability. By exploring alternative financing structures and applying the “user pays” principle, Kenya aims to minimise dependency on fossil fuel revenues while ensuring equitable and efficient road maintenance funding.

Implications for the EV Industry

The proposed policy measures outlined in the draft e-Mobility Policy signal a significant opportunity for the country’s burgeoning electric vehicle industry. By providing a clear roadmap and supportive ecosystem, the policy framework aims to catalyse investment, innovation and market growth in the EV sector.

Local and international automakers and assemblers stand to benefit from the incentives and targets set forth, which will encourage them to ramp up production and localisation efforts. Moreover, the emphasis on infrastructure development and technical capacity building creates opportunities for partnerships and collaborations between public and private entities, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of EV-related businesses and services.

The policy’s focus on inclusivity and socioeconomic promotion underscores Kenya’s commitment to ensuring that the benefits of e-mobility extend to all segments of society. By prioritising accessibility and affordability, the government aims to democratise EV ownership and usage, thereby enhancing mobility options and reducing transportation-related disparities.

Additionally, the shift towards alternative road maintenance funding mechanisms not only aligns with broader sustainability goals but also underscores the government’s forward-thinking approach to infrastructure financing. This holistic approach to e-mobility policy not only positions Kenya as a regional leader in sustainable transportation but also sets a precedent for other nations grappling with similar challenges and opportunities.

Kenya’s draft e-Mobility Policy represents a bold and comprehensive strategy to propel the country towards a greener, more sustainable future. By leveraging policy instruments to stimulate investment, innovation, and inclusivity, Kenya is poised to emerge as a frontrunner in Africa’s electric vehicle revolution, driving economic growth, environmental stewardship, and social equity in the process.