Electric cars are seen as a “magic bullet” by many governments since they have the potential for being environmental friendly whilst also revolutionizing the energy industry.
As an example, we shall consider a policy paper for the country of Tanzania in East Africa. Naturally, any other developing country would approximately follow the same pattern. Being a member of the developing world, Tanzania can use electric cars to speed up its development.
In this analysis, the following issues are analyzed;
- Institutions needed for electric vehicles.
- Incentives that should be considered for Electric Vehicles (EVs).
- Social Aspects of EVs.
The motivations for the country of Tanzania to switch to electric vehicles are as follows;
Publc Health policy.
In traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) Air quality is a serious challenge in many cities today. Road traffic is a major cause of urban air pollution, as the car exhaust fumes of conventional cars, trucks, and buses contain many compounds that affect our health, including NOx and particulate emissions. NOx refers to both nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain.
Internal combustion engines on diesel and gasoline also emit fine particulate matter in the form of soot. Chronic exposure to particulates in ambient air leads to a number of health risks. All types of very fine particulate matter can penetrate deeply into sensitive lung tissue and damage it, not only causing or worsening respiratory diseases, such as emphysema or bronchitis, but also affecting the cardiovascular system and aggravating existing heart disease.
Tanzania is currently promoting the development of industry and exploitation of natural resources in an attempt to improve its economic stability. Regrettably, this development process is inevitably accompanied by environmental pollution. A survey of water, air and noise pollution is presented. Tanzania lacks the economic base and trained manpower essential for the implementation of a regulatory and corrective strategy using costly and sophisticated pollution control technology. Furthermore, the country lacks a conceptual framework, the public support, governmental motivation, legislation and regulatory infrastructure needed for effective environmental pollution management. This analysis concludes with a simplified approach towards a pollution prevention strategy, including some of the important elements for an environmental pollution management system for Tanzania.
The following are worldwide trends of air pollution are indicative of the severity of the problem.
4.2 million deaths every year as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution
3.8 million deaths every year as a result of household exposure to smoke from dirty cookstoves and fuels
91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits
A rapid growth in urbanization will put even more people at the risk of air pollution by the traffic in the cities.
Climate change policy
The United Republic of Tanzania, which comprises of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, has a total area of 945,087 square kilometers and an estimated population of over 55 million, making Tanzania one of the largest countries in East Africa. Agriculture is the mainstay of the Tanzanian economy contributing about 24% of GDP in the year 2011, 31% of export earnings and employing about 75% of the total labor force. In the last 40 years Tanzania has experienced severe and recurring droughts with devastating effects to agriculture, water and energy sectors. The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) Index ranks Tanzania as the 34th most vulnerable and 54th least ready to adapt to climate change, of the countries it covered for 2015. Currently more than 70% of all natural disasters in Tanzania are climate change related and are linked to recurrent droughts and floods. Tanzania published its National Climate Change Strategy in 2012, to address both adaptation and mitigation in line with the country’s vision for sustainable development.
The national energy policy objectives of Tanzania are to ensure availability of reliable and affordable energy supplies and their use in a rational and sustainable manner in order to support national development goals. The national energy policy, therefore, aims to establish an efficient energy production, procurement, transportation, distribution and end-use systems in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner.
EVs can help enormously. The energy needed for EVs can be produced both locally and sustainably using renewable energy sources such as hydro. solar and wind. Additionally, EV batteries can store some of the unused energy from renewable sources that would otherwise be discarded.
The movement of goods and services are essential in any country and EVs offer the following services in addition;
- Autonomous vehicles.
- Car Sharing.
Electric cars have the potential of lowering the transportation costs and therefore boosting the economy.
Instructions in the case of EVs should be thought should be thought as the rules that govern social interactions.
Social rules are particularly important for establishing an e-charging environment.
Electric vehicles are more expensive to buy, however the followingnincentives can be used to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.
- Lower import duties and road tax for electric vehicles
- Free parking in cities.
- Eliminating subsidies on petrol and diesel (and lowering tax on electricity for vehicle charging)
- Preferential access and exemption from congestion fees in urban areas
- Government procurement of electric vehicles for official use and for public transport fleets
- Technical standards and subsidies for charging equipment and batteries
- Public information campaigns explaining the environmental and private benefits of electric vehicle
It should be noted that monetary as well as non-monetary incentives shall be used. Non-monetary incentives include;
- Free parking for electrical cars.
- Use of congestion lanes by electric cars irrespective of the number of passengers.
There is a tendency for the well educated and the financially well-off segments of the society to be the early adopters. There is a need to ensure however that the financial incentives do not just end up with the wealthy.
In Germany, there is a price ceiling (EUR 50000) that if exceeded would result into no incentives being paid out.
A ceiling to the price for any incentives pay-out would also encourage vehicle manufacturers to produce less expensive vehicles.
Conclusions / Looking back
The benefits of electric mobility are clear and they will help developing nations economically as well as environmentally.