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Ethiopia : Over 30 electric buses introduced

Ethiopia plans to import 439,000 electric vehicles to step up its sustainability policies in Transport. In 2023, Ethiopia spent nearly $6 billion to import fossil fuels with more than half of that spending going to fuel vehicles. In response, Ethiopia’s Transport and Logistics Ministries on April 10 2024 brought to service over 30 electric buses in Addis Ababa.

Comfortable and spacious, these electric buses assembled by a local company called Belayneh Kindie Metal Engineering Complex offer a range of up to 370 kilometres on a single charge. Dubbed « 100% electric, zero CO₂ », the newly commissioned electric buses have been designated to serve the Bole- Estifanos-Shiro Meda route.

“When one imports components to assemble EVS within the country, the tax is zero. If the cars are semi-assembled then the tax is 5%. If the car is fully assembled, the vehicle has a 15% taxation requirement. Comparing all this with the conventional vehicle taxation regimes shows the figures are free. It’s a big tax relief for the sector. ”

Bero Hussein, State minister for Transport and LogisticsEthiopia 

For countries like Ethiopia, where most of the country’s foreign exchange reserves are spent on fuel imports, electric vehicles offer a number of advantages. The East African country spends around 12 billion dollars a year importing fuel. Electricity, on the other hand, is cheap and plentiful, to the point of being exported. Ethiopia’s hydroelectric potential, estimated at 4,800 MW according to official figures, can accommodate electric vehicles.

“The gap between the public’s high demand for transportation and the few vehicles within the city will be filled with the introduction of electric vehicles in Addis Ababa. They will make things a lot easier and they can be a reliable mode of transportation for people.”

Hailu Zergaw, Manager, After Sales ServiceEthiopia

To democratise access to electric vehicles, which are considered to be too expensive, the authorities, in accordance with the 2021-2030 Green Development Master Plan approved by parliament in December 2023 to promote the use of green energy are preparing legislation to ease taxes on imports of these vehicles including a 15% reduction in customs duties. The government’s objective is to import at least 152,800 electric vehicles over 10 years.


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