Govt to promote use of electric vehicles – Minister

Govt to promote use of electric vehicles – Minister

Harare, (New Ziana)–The government is working on a framework to promote use and uptake of electric modes of transportation as Zimbabwe moves to join the rest of the world in moving away from use of fossil fuels, a cabinet minister has said.

As the name implies, electric vehicles do not use diesel or petrol but are powered by batteries.

The e-vehicles have already become a hit in developed markets, primarily for being environmentally friendly due to their zero air and noise pollution.

But their uptake has been hit by high cost of acquiring them.

With a vehicle on average costing around US$30 000, observers have said the prices will result in developing markets taking longer to adopt them – until they are being produced and sold at a relatively lower cost.

Zimbabwe is largely flooded by second hand imported vehicles which cost as low as US$3 000.

Energy and Power Development Minister, Zhemu Soda said the e-mobility framework will “outline the facets that will create a conducive environment for the growth of the industry which include the technical, economic, financial and institutional processes.”

“The framework shall also be mindful of the supply side of the product which is set to come initially as complementary to the existing industry,” he said, at an event organized by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) to promote use of electric cars.

“No doubt, the technology will disrupt energy related and transport industries but it shall present opportunities to reform the sector and to emerge stronger.”

Currently, about 30 electric vehicles are being used in the country, he said.

He said to promote their uptake and improve affordability, the framework will include financial measures such as electric vehicle purchase grant scheme, charging support, accelerated capital allowances, and duty and taxes relief, measures to facilitate technical support through local manufacturing and assembling of parts and creating local capacity and public awareness strategies of the technology.

Zera chief executive, Eddington Mazambani said promotion of e-vehicles was in line with its mandate to “promote and encourage the expansion and the advancement of technology related to petroleum and electricity.”

“The coming in of this technology therefore marks the beginning of a journey towards efficient management of fuel consumption and clean environment as the market embraces electric vehicles,” he said.

“It improves efficiency of transport, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and is also cheaper to maintain as there are less moving parts.”

Mazambani said a multi-stakeholder committee, funded by a United Nations agency, will be set up to develop a joint vision on electric vehicle adoption in the country.
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