There are more than three million motor vehicles driving on our roads on any given day, and with the rise of electric vehicles, the country is working to develop new standards for electric cars that are imported to make sure they are safe for the environment. The Kenya Bureau of Standards has stated that vehicles will only be allowed into Kenya if they emit no carbon monoxide or other poisonous matter.
Everyone uses electricity whether it is to power a home or office, to light a walkway or to cook. Thanks to technology trends and advances, we also use it for our computers, to charge our mobile devices and now to power our cars. For those who own electric cars, it’s nice to be able to cut down or even eliminate the need for using petrol to fuel a vehicle. On average, it takes around eight hours to fully charge an electric car battery.
Kenya Power is the largest power company in the country which means they will be in charge of supplying power for electric car charging stations. With Asian and European countries in the process of getting rid of petrol fueled motors, it only makes sense for Kenya to begin their own process of phasing out the older model vehicles that run on diesel and petrol and begin moving towards the future with hybrids and electric vehicles.
One thing that KEBS has been investigating is the duration that electric batteries are able to handle being in extreme heat for prolonged time periods. With the brutally high temperatures seen in Kenya it is important to know that electric vehicles can run without the worry of battery explosions in dry and extremely hot temperatures.
Further testing will need to determine how long electric vehicles will be able to run when the temperatures rise and how well these vehicles can handle the dry and dusty conditions found on roadways in the country. According to KEBS, testing is slated to be wrapped up by the summer of 2018.
Rolling out infrastructure for electric cars to begin flowing into Kenya will take a considerable amount of time as well as financial backing. This means that workers may have an opportunity to earn more as the need for stations for electric cars begins to come to fruition.
This also means that mechanics will need to be trained to work on electric and hybrid vehicles to keep them maintained, change and repair parts. Kenya will also need to maintain a supply of replacement parts to ensure vehicles can be maintained as needed.
Auto manufactures including Audi and Jaguar have released plans to market their first electric vehicles in Kenya by 2019. Nigus Enfinity, an auto manufacturer from Nigeria plans to introduce an electric car by 2018 and they want to have an assembly factory in Kenya by the year 2020.
There is much work to be done before Kenya is ready to maintain electric vehicles, but it appears that the proper steps are being taken at this point to get things ramped up and in gear to move forward. One thing that Kenya will have to watch out for is a major influx of petrol and diesel vehicles being brought into the country as Asia and Europe gets rid of the cars and move into electric vehicles only.
Another issue facing Kenya’s move to electric vehicles is the many stakeholders in the petrol and diesel industry. Shareholders would need to start selling off their stock to break out and support the electric vehicle industry and this is something that can take time.
The fact is that many have predicted that the petrol and diesel vehicles will be completely phased out by the year 2040 and there will be nothing but electric vehicles on the roadways by then. Even with setbacks and delays that are inevitable, it is time for Kenya to ramp up and start working towards a future with the electric car manufacturers.