GOVERNMENT on Tuesday unveiled an e-mobility framework and roadmap draft which is set to pave way for transitioning towards the electrification of public transportation in order to decarbonise the sector while positioning the country to meet its carbon emission commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Zimbabwe Government through the Ministries of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Energy and Power Development and Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry through support from the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and UNEP-DTU are responsible for the project, while Mobility for Africa Trust and pManifold of India weighed in with the research.
Addressing a validation workshop for the project in Harare regarding the project, Mobility for Africa Managing Director, Shantha Bloemen hailed Zimbabwe for taking this step of drafting a guiding document to map the shift towards the electrification of public transport.
“Petrol is imported. It is dirty. We are at a juncture where there has been a lot of investment worldwide in electric mobility and we are now at a point where we do not want Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular to fall behind so this this policy has been a year of concentration and research.
What it proposes to do is to set out a roadmap for the country, for the next decade to try and phase in electric mobility and phase out petrol,” she said.
Once Cabinet okays the draft then it will become policy upon which the adoption of electric vehicles will be premised.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), chief executive officer, Engineer Samuel Zaranyika noted that the journey to e-Mobility is feasible in the local context via solar energy.
“We are trying to promote photovoltaic solar for charging. Service station owners are being encouraged to invest in solar panels as to promote clean energy for charging cars,” he said.
He noted many players have expressed interest in feeding to the national electricity grid as there have been several applications.
“So we have quite a number of applications on our table for solar power projects and some of them have actually come on board and are now injecting into the grid.
“For example we have one in Mutoko, another in Nyabira and then in Hwange. All these are injecting into the grid,” Eng. Zaranyika said.
Eng. Zaranyika admitted the country is not coping with the ever increasing demand of electricity.
“Generation is currently below demand. There is a gap between generation and demand,” he said noting there are coming up with means to plug the gaping demand. “But as the regulator we are licencing additional players to join the energy mix particularly renewable energy generation like solar power.”
Currently, the transport sector in the country is the major contributor towards carbon emissions accounting for an estimated 22% towards the energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions via combustion of diesel and gasoline.