Government is considering cheaper power for electric cars charging

The government is considering scrapping the monthly limit on the quantity of cheaper electricity that electric vehicles (EVs) are allowed to enjoy, in a bid to accelerate the adoption of the technology further The e-mobility tariff, introduced in April last year, presently limits the use of cheaper electricity for EV battery-charging companies to a maximum of 15,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) monthly.

Once this limit is reached, they are charged power under the normal tariffs. Under the tariff, the EV firms pay Sh16 per unit during peak hours and Sh8 per unit during off-peak hours, which is less than half the Sh20 per unit that small commercial customers pay.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) now says that the government will remove the 15,000kWh tariff following lobbying by EV firms surpassing the threshold due to increased demand for EV charging.

According to Epra Director-General Daniel Kiptoo, the limit was set to protect Kenya Power from further revenue losses due to the cheaper tariffs. Mr Kiptoo was speaking in Nairobi yesterday during the launch of a nationwide campaign to create awareness of the safety, and affordability of EVs and rally the nation towards mass market adoption.

“We need to have a conversation with the utility (Kenya Power) and the stakeholders so that we can make a decision on increasing the limit from 15,000 units per month to a higher threshold,” said the Epra boss.

Mr Kiptoo further said that the limit could be removed entirely by the end of the current tariff control period which ends in June 2026 after gathering all the relevant data on the extent of the uptake of EVs in the country by that period. “This is a matter of balance of ensuring that the sector’s revenues are met, the utility is financially sustainable but also we continue to incentivize the uptake of e-mobility,” he added.

This comes even as EV registration jumped more than five times to hit 2,694 last year, marking a significant increase from the 475 units registered in the previous year. It is also more than the cumulative number of EVs that had been previously registered in Kenya, bringing the total number of EVs registered in the country to 3,753.

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