The Sunday Mail
Senior Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) is lobbying for suspension of import duty on all electric vehicles (EVs) as it seeks to promote local use.
Further, Zera wants a preferential licensing fee for EVs given their importance in reducing the fuel import bill.
They are also considered to be environmentally friendly.
This was said by Zera senior engineer (electricity) Samuel Zaranyika in his presentation on “The future of the energy industry” during the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) human resources indaba in Kariba recently.
Eng Zaranyika added that awareness campaigns are set to start next month, with a workshop set to be convened by Zera.
“What we are doing as Zera is that we want to promote this (EVs) technology; we are actually buying an electric vehicle, which would be used for demonstrations,” said Eng Zaranyika.
“What sort of expectations do we have for this car? From Zimra (the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority), we look at waiver of duty on the electric vehicle, (from) Zinara, we would be looking at issues like preferential licensing; for instance, if you are charging a Honda Fit, say RTGS$300 per term, for an electric vehicle, we are looking at a tenth of that.
“Zera would also be conducting a workshop on this particular technology, maybe some time in April.”
Zera is pushing for the popularisation of the EVs as they would not only displace fossil fuel and carbon emissions, but the technology is also more energy efficient than internal-combustion engines.
In the recent past, Zimbabwe gobbled about 7,6 million litres of both diesel and petrol, but the numbers have shrunk to about 5,5 million litres between January and February on the back of price adjustments.
Eng Zaranyika also said EVs are cheaper to run since a single charge for a 375km trip from Harare to Kariba requires RTGS$10 compared to about 40 litres of petrol that costs about RTGS$140.
EVs are also cheaper to maintain as they have less moving parts, environmentally friendly given that they have no gas emissions, while their engines are also quieter than petrol or diesel vehicles, implying less noise pollution.
Critically, the electricity that would have been charged into an EV can also be used as alternative power for the home.
Eng Zaranyika said to promote the EV technology, Zera is also calling on the local vehicle assembly firms and the public to play ball.
Government has cleared Zera’s proposal to purchase an EV for demonstration.
The vehicle is expected in the country by December.
The number of EVs is rising exponentially, with latest figures suggesting they are now over 3 million on the world’s roads.
Sales are also reportedly spiking at almost 75 percent per annum.
The International Energy Agency now forecasts that there would be 125 million EVs in use globally by 2030.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa also has ‘Vision 2030’ by which the country would have attained upper middle-income status, with a per capita income of US$3 500.