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President Ruto unveils electric bike rollout plan in two counties

President William Ruto has unveiled a groundbreaking plan for the introduction of electric bikes in Nakuru and Nairobi counties.

This will mark a significant step toward his promise of enhancing affordable transportation and combating climate change.

The rollout, set to commence on September 1, was confirmed during his address at the Devolution Conference.

Speaking from the conference, President Ruto affirmed his commitment to delivering on his key pledge to reduce living costs, transportation fares, and fuel prices.

He announced that Nakuru and Nairobi counties will be at the forefront of this ambitious initiative, with Nakuru selected as the venue for a rally after the launch of affordable housing projects.

Ruto emphasized that the introduction of electric bikes, commonly referred to as e-bikes, would not only alleviate business expenses but also provide substantial benefits to the youth engaged in the boda boda (motorcycle taxi) industry.

He underscored the potential of e-mobility to address climate change, especially once fully embraced across the nation.

The planned rollout is strategically timed, preceding the Africa Climate Summit 2023, which Ruto is set to host at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

The summit, scheduled just three days after the e-bike launch, will see the participation of over 17 presidents and more than 20,000 delegates.

Its primary objective is to confront the escalating impacts and costs of climate change, with a special focus on the African continent.

The summit will not only foster dialogue and awareness on climate-related challenges but also serve as a platform to shape commitments and catalyze action.

The envisioned outcome, the Nairobi Declaration on climate change, aims to steer policy direction and global cooperation in addressing this pressing issue.

President Ruto’s vision for e-mobility extends beyond the initial rollout.

He recently disclosed his intention for Kenya to manufacture a significant number of electric bikes by the end of 2024.

With an ambitious goal of producing 200,000 e-bikes, Ruto highlighted the cooperation between the government and private companies, culminating in the reduction of various taxes to enhance production efficiency and affordability.

“We have agreed with some companies and that is why we have reduced five different taxes,” President Ruto affirmed.

The removal of a 16% Value Added Tax (VAT) on electric motorcycles and reduced VAT on components such as spare parts and batteries are instrumental policy interventions outlined in the Finance Act.

In line with these efforts, President Ruto confirmed the establishment of charging stations nationwide, providing riders convenient access to affordable charging services.

“Charging areas will be set up across the country where the riders can only use Ksh60 for charging and operating for a day,” Ruto announced.

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