Electric vehicles can create supply chain opportunities for Kenyans

President William Ruto using electrical vehicle on way to the ministerial conference of the Africa Climate Summit at Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi on August 04, 2023. [PCS]

As the global community marches towards a cleaner and greener world, it’s imperative to shine a spotlight on the evolution of e-mobility in Kenya. The journey towards e-mobility is more than a technological shift – it’s a transformative process that demands careful consideration of its social and economic dimensions.

Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has taken remarkable steps in steering the nation towards a just transition. This transition aims to ensure that the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) minimises environmental impacts and safeguards the livelihoods of those currently employed in the conventional automotive sector.

This recalibration involves upskilling workers and creating new opportunities in the electric vehicle supply chain, thus building a sustainable ecosystem that leaves no one behind.

While the environmental benefits of e-mobility are evident, it’s essential to ensure that this transition is inclusive and accessible to all segments of society.

In Kenya, where access to basic services can vary significantly, addressing the access gap is crucial.

In collaboration with EPRA, the government should actively work on initiatives to make electric vehicles affordable and accessible. These include incentives such as tax exemptions, reduced import duties, and subsidies for EV purchases. Kenya will be able to create an egalitarian e-mobility landscape that benefits the environment and the entire population by implementing policies encouraging EV adoption across all income levels.

The adoption of e-mobility extends far beyond individual transportation choices. The transition holds the potential to revitalise economies and transform societies. One notable aspect is the reduction of fossil fuel imports, which can significantly improve a nation’s balance of payments. 

Moreover, the rise of e-mobility is anticipated to stimulate innovation and create new job opportunities in areas such as battery manufacturing, charging infrastructure development, and software engineering.

While the path towards e-mobility is promising, challenges remain. By addressing challenges and embracing opportunities, Kenya is poised to lead the way in sustainable transportation, setting an inspiring example for other countries. So, are you ready to join the revolution and drive Kenya into a brighter, greener future? The road ahead is electric.

-- The writer is a climate action enthusiast and a development communication specialist