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Historically, less economically rich countries have been the “dumping ground” of older, “out of date” vehicles from Europe, the US, and Japan. It’s been a major concern of those of us with a bit of a global perspective as these regions electrify. Will markets like Ethiopia still receive millions of gas and diesel vehicles for years to come and be delayed in experiencing the benefits of electrification? It’s also why we’ve been happy to see BYD and some other Chinese automakers looking to export some of their electric vehicles to markets of all sorts across the world — from Norway to the Netherlands to Kenya to Ethiopia to Chile to Mexico. But is that enough?

No, it’s not enough. Strong policies are needed in order to make sure one’s cities and towns get cleaner cars, cleaner air, and a quieter urban atmosphere.

So, it’s uplifting to see that Ethiopia is taking that extra step and making decisive actions for the benefit of its citizens. Details are a little thin at this point, but the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport and Logistics, Alemu Sime, recently stated that the country will not allow cars that are not electric to enter the market. “A decision has been made that automobiles cannot enter Ethiopia unless they are electric ones,” stated Sime.

“One of the reasons behind this decision is Ethiopia’s inability to afford importing gasoline due to limited foreign exchange resources — according to the minister,” APA News writes.

It’s not clear right here if Sime is only talking about new cars or also used cars, though. It’s also not clear what the timing is on this. So, there’s more to discover and report.

Notably, Sime highlighted that the government is focused on installing EV charging infrastructure, and the Ethiopian government also implemented electric car exemptions for value added tax (VAT), excise tax, and sur taxes in 2022. So, it’s not just words, and one can believe that Ethiopia really might implement a ban on imports of all fossil-powered cars before long. Stay tuned.

Featured photo by Yohannes Minas on Unsplash

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