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Zimbabwe's draft electric vehicles policy ready

by Staff reporter
18 Nov 2022 at 05:05hrs | Views
Zimbabwe is almost ready to adopt the electric vehicles (EVs) technology, with the draft Electric Mobility Policy Framework and Roadmap now in place but being refined.

This was said by Ms Munashe Mukonoweshuro, a climate change scientist in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry yesterday during a side event at the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the United Nations climate change conference, which ends today in Egypt.

Ms Mukonoweshuro said the desire to pace up adoption of electric vehicles was in line with Zimbabwe's revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), under which it seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent per capita across the economy by 2030.  

Road transportation accounted for 22 percent of greenhouse gas emissions within the energy sector in 2017 in Zimbabwe.

The figure is projected to increase in line with the rise in economic expansion and importation of used cars.

Zimbabwe has also crafted the Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) 2020 to 2050, as it plans to reduce its carbon footprint.

Apart from private vehicles, the piloting of EVs roll out would be extended to intracity and intercity buses.

The draft policy proposes a reduction in value added tax from 14,5 percent to 4,5 percent for the period 2022 to 2030, to promote uptake of EVs.

Under the policy two, three and four wheel vehicle types would be brought into the country.

Deployment of 17 920 chargers and their infrastructure would be done while the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) would develop a cost framework for charging of the EVs to ensure predictability, just as is done with fuel. Ms Mukonoweshuro said enhanced public awareness and understanding of the potential of EVs would be carried out. "Zimbabwe has set 33 percent market penetration of e-vehicles by 2030," she said.

A proposal for a subsidy of US$366,7 million would be put in place, with the Government meeting that cost until 2030. Numerous tax incentives would also be put in place.

Registration of EVs would also be done under one roof to speedily process those that would have imported the vehicles. Director conservation and renewable energy in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Dr Sosten Ziuku, said adoption of EVs will help cut Zimbabwe's huge fuel importation bill.

Last year, 700 million litres of diesel and 400 million litres of petrol were consumed, a development that leads to emissions of gases that cause climate change.

"We are ready for electric vehicles because some players (such as Zera and VAYA) already have them," he said.

Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Deputy Minister, Barbara Rwodzi, said socio-economic development was under threat from climate change due to high emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.

"The activities that result in greenhouse gas emissions include use of fossil fuels largely in thermal power generation, use of petroleum products like petrol and diesel, veld fires, deforestation, industrial processes like cement and fertiliser manufacture and unsustainable biodegradable solid waste and wastewater management, among others," said Deputy Minister Rwodzi.

"The presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in high concentrations results in global warming as they trap outgoing heat from the earth's surface and send it back resulting in increased surface temperatures.

"As this extends over time, it causes climate change due to the influence of increased surface temperature on other weather parameters such as rainfall, wind and pressure."

Deputy Minister Rwodzi said as the nation moves towards an upper-middle economy as envisioned by Vision 2030, sustainable development in all sectors, including transport, was critical so as to achieve the 2030 target in a climate resilient and low-carbon manner.

During COP26 last year, over 100 national governments, cities, States and major businesses signed the Glasgow Declaration on Zero-Emission Cars and Vans, to end the sale of internal combustion engines by 2035 in leading markets by 2040 worldwide.

At least 13 nations also committed to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered heavy-duty vehicles by 2040, a development that has grave implications in Africa.

The concept of electric mobility is fast evolving across the globe and Zimbabwe, said Deputy Minister Rwodzi, cannot remain behind.

Mr Dustin Kahler, the director of mobility at M-KOPA in Kenya, congratulated Zimbabwe for moving towards adoption of EVs.

Mr Kahler said M-KOPA would explore the Zimbabwean EVs market from next year to see how they can help in the gradual move towards adoption of EVs.

Source - The Herald