The administration of President William Ruto aims to construct 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations across Kenya under its ambitious economic development plan from 2022 to 2027.
The plan envisions 700 stations in urban areas and 300 along highways.
The massive infrastructure project was outlined Thursday in new “Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging and Battery Swapping Infrastructure Guidelines” from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority. The comprehensive guidelines aim to promote accessibility, reliability and affordability of charging systems in order to accelerate EV adoption nationwide.
“The purpose of these guidelines is to enable faster adoption of electric vehicles in Kenya by ensuring safe, reliable, accessible and affordable charging infrastructure and ecosystem,” the authority’s statement said.
Under the guidelines, public charging stations must meet extensive minimum requirements including having dedicated transformers, civil works like ramps, restroom facilities, fire safety equipment, and using only certified and approved charging equipment. Private charging points at homes or businesses have fewer infrastructure requirements but still need inspection and approval.
Battery swapping stations, where EV batteries can be quickly exchanged for fully charged ones, must meet detailed standards for space, battery management systems, unique identification numbers on each battery, and overall safety.
The guidelines also stipulate that installers must provide documentation, warranties and insurance. There are specifications for minimum distance between public charging points, and a national database of all stations will be created.
Signage, accessibility for disabled persons, and fair pricing requirements are outlined. Technical requirements cover measurement systems, smart functionality, communication systems, data privacy and cybersecurity.
Complaints about stations or installers will be handled by the Energy Regulatory Authority. The comprehensive guidelines take effect September 1.
According to the government, imports of electric vehicles began about 10 years ago, driven mainly by the private sector. But uptake has been slow due to high costs compared to gasoline models, insufficient charging infrastructure nationwide, and uncertainties about sustainable energy supply.
“With government support, electric vehicles have started to penetrate the Kenyan market. However, there is currently no framework that encourages uptake and penetration through an enabling framework,” the statement said. “These new guidelines aim to change that.”
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