ETHIOPIA SET TO BAN ALL FUEL POWERED VEHICLES WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

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ETHIOPIA SET TO BAN ALL FUEL POWERED VEHICLES WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

Ethiopia has ordered an immediate ban on non-electric vehicles entering the country, old or new.

According to Ethiopia’s Transport Minister, Alemu Sime, the country spent €6 billion alone last year importing gasoline and diesel.

Apart from being financially unsustainable, the pollution levels in the cities are out of control.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Transport is moving to act on high-priority plans to establish charging infrastructure across the country, following the report submitted by Sime to the House of Representatives of Ethiopia.

The planned ban will be strictly enforced, and existing vehicle owners will be subject to stringent smoke tests. Any vehicle failing the test will be no longer eligible for servicing and will have to be removed from the road.

On the face of it, this is great news, but it comes with more questions than answers. There are around 2 million vehicles in Ethiopia, with a big chunk of them being well over 20 years old.

Older vehicles are already subject to hefty taxes, forcing importers to bring newer cars to the country.

Low-emission car importers, on the other hand, face lower taxes, and local EV manufacturing is being encouraged with substantial tax breaks and incentives.

This is what Ethiopia’s streets may look like much sooner than expected

Removing two million ICE-powered vehicles will take a while, and so will building the charging infrastructure for the two million electric cars that will eventually replace them.

But unlike the Western world, Ethiopia is more concerned about the quality of its air, the health of its citizens, and out-of-control fuel prices.

Ethiopia, an African country, is about to witness a gold rush moment for EV manufacturers, importers, and infrastructure providers. Banning non-EVs with immediate effect is a bold move that borders on gambling, but on the other hand, knowing how high pollution affects the health of society and doing nothing about it is like watching a ticking bomb.

The whole world will be watching Ethiopia, with EV transition supporters rooting for the country to succeed while the EV opponents will ridicule it and throw whatever obstacles they can in its path.

It’s a momentous move that puts the entire country’s future at stake. There’s no way it’ll be plain sailing, but if Ethiopia prevails, it’ll become an example that many more African countries may follow, turning the continent into an unlikely leader in the EV transition.

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About Dons Eze

DONS EZE, PhD, Political Philosopher and Journalist of over four decades standing, worked in several newspaper houses across the country, and rose to the positions of Editor and General Manager. A UNESCO Fellow in Journalism, Dr. Dons Eze, a prolific writer and author of many books, attended several courses on Journalism and Communication in both Nigeria and overseas, including a Postgraduate Course on Journalism at Warsaw, Poland; Strategic Communication and Practical Communication Approach at RIPA International, London, the United Kingdom, among others.

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