Now without the rumble: Kenya's plan to switch to EVs for its wildlife reserves is backed by its tourists' favorable experiences with the vehicles' lack of engine noise and vibration. Photo: Go2Africa

Kenya to switch to EVs only in its national parks and game reserves

The Kenyan government announced that its national parks and game reserves would only use electric vehicles by 2030, in a bid to reduce the vehicles’ impact on the outdoors. The decision also comes over the fact that the country was now a founding member of the sustainable tourism global centre, and the switch is expected to affect locally-used aircraft and cars the most. While the announcement was welcomed by most over the vehicles’ much lower noise output — which is a boon to travellers on a safari while observing animals — some groups have expressed concerns over the cost of converting their existing vehicles to electric, since the first such conversion back in 2019 cost the Ol Pejeta Bush Camp $37,000. 

Global passenger EV sales more than doubled in 2021, EV adoption helping avoid 1.5 million barrels of crude oil consumption per day: BNEF

A new Bloomberg NEF report on the status of global EV adoption has revealed that 6.6 million units of passenger EVs were sold in 2021, a 103% growth over sales figures in 2020. Pure battery electric vehicles make up about 70% of these sales, while around 30% came from plug-in hybrids. Market share of fuel cell vehicles was below 1%. EVs (including hybrids) in the last quarter of 2021 accounted for around 13% of total passenger vehicle sales as public charging infrastructure continued to expand in most countries with an established EVs market. The growing share of EVs is also beginning to have an impact on oil demand. While oil demand for road transport has continued to grow to 43.7 million barrels per day in 2021, EV adoption now helps avoid 1.5 million barrels of oil per day- about 3.3% of the total demand.

California: New survey finds more than 27% of public EV chargers non-operable 

A new report found that over 27% of the publicly-available EV charging stations in the San Francisco Bay Area were non-operable, due to their unresponsive connectors and/or screens, as well as their failing payment and charge initiation systems. The study was conducted by UC Berkeley and non-profit outfit Cool the Earth, and found that the availability of proper EV charging stations was far below that of the 95-98% functionality claims made by EV service providers.

However, the report also noted that Tesla’s chargers were not evaluated in the study, which were usually found to be in much better repair on average. Also, many EV owners have the ability to charge their vehicles at home, at restaurants, office complexes and other public facilities, while there was no option for gasoline vehicle owners to refuel anywhere else but at gas stations. Yet, the report stresses that for California to continue leading the US in its transition to e-mobility, the level of availability for public EV charging stations must improve to stave off EV owners’ anxieties. 

India: Initial probe finds fault with batteries and modules in EV fires 

The initial federal probe ordered by India to determine the cause of the spate of EV fires across the country in recent weeks found that the vehicles’ batteries, cells and modules were at fault. The probe is investigating the fires reported from Okinawa, PureEV and Ola Electric, and points to the batteries and the battery management system itself for the latter. However, Ola Electric is conducting its own investigation into the fires and said that it had found no issue with its battery management system, and that the fires seemed to be isolated thermal runaway incidents. It was also working with its battery supplier, LG Energy Solutions (South Korea) to examine the issue. PureEV and Okinawa, on the other hand, had not yet responded to the findings, but all the manufacturers have been served notices by the country’s watchdog, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA). 

Report warns Japan could lose 14% of GDP if it doesn’t pick up speed on EVs

A new report by the Climate Group stated that unless Japan hastened its switch towards manufacturing more EVs, it would risk losing 14% of its GDP through to 2040, and 1.72 million jobs and $6billion in profits. The report states that while most western markets — and China — are moving quickly towards selling and adopting more battery electric vehicles, the resistance from Japan has been strong and none other than the CEO of Toyota Motors has been found to spread misinformation about the technology. Japan is also not a signatory to the COP26 2040 all-electric target. 

However, the report suggests that instead of continuing to support hydrogen fuel cells, the country could begin to eliminate subsidies for the technology and invest in battery manufacturing (given its history with consumer electronics) to regain some of its lost footing.

About The Author