Government introduces green number plates for electric vehicles

The government on Wednesday announced the introduction of special green-coloured number plates for electric vehicles (EVs).

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen on Wednesday said during the launch of the draft e-mobility policy at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) that the distinctive number plates will be issued to drivers of electric vehicles and motorcycles, marking a significant step in Kenya’s journey towards sustainable transport.

“The special plates will help raise awareness about EVs among the general public and encourage more people to consider switching to e-mobility,” said Murkomen.

He said the initiative extends to motorcycles, marking a comprehensive effort to revolutionise the country’s transport sector.

Mr Murkomen added that the shift will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while cutting the country’s oil import bill.

“The shift to electric vehicles (EVs) significantly cuts emissions of greenhouse gases while reducing the petroleum import bill, currently standing at Sh628.4 billion. It will also promote local manufacturing and create jobs. That’s why the government has prioritised the adoption of EVs,” he said.

There is an urgent need to create an enabling environment for electric vehicles, which includes the creation of a comprehensive policy framework, the CS said.

“To promote faster adoption of electric vehicles, we have begun the process of assigning green-coloured number plates to all-electric vehicles, including two-wheelers. Special plates will help raise awareness about EVs among the general public and encourage more people to consider switching to e-mobility,” he said.

He said the policy shows their commitment to popularising electric vehicles in the country, adding that his ministry would table a proposal in Cabinet to replace all government vehicles in phases with electric ones.

The transition, he said, will save the taxpayer billions in fuel and other maintenance costs, not to mention the immense environmental benefits of the shift.

The transport sector is largely powered by fossil fuels and consumes about 72 per cent of imported petroleum products, the CS added.

According to him, greenhouse gas emissions from the sector are projected to increase from 13 per cent in 2015 to 17 per cent in 2030.

“Air pollution from these emissions and climate change threaten our health, our economy, and our very lives,” said the CS.

Socially, it means cleaner cities and enhanced public health. Technologically, it places Kenya at the forefront of innovation, setting a benchmark for integrating renewable energy and setting up cleaner transportation systems across Africa.

“I am confident that this document will produce ground-breaking legislative and regulatory proposals that will drive forward the country’s nascent e-mobility industry,” said Murkomen.

The introduction of green number plates will also necessitate a change for vehicles currently sporting green plates, primarily used by county enforcement officers. These vehicles will apply for new number plates as the exclusive green designation shifts to EVs.

There are currently nearly 3,000 registered electric vehicles in the country.

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