Volkswagen Kenya plans to tighten emission standards on its locally assembled vehicles from January, aligning with the European Union pollution rules set in 2005.
Speaking during the launch of the Volkswagen T-Cross, a new locally assembled mini-SUV, the vehicle assembler said it is also eyeing local assembly of electric vehicles.
The five-seater compact T-Cross is the sixth Volkswagen assembled at the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) facility in Thika.
“We are making steps towards electric vehicles in Kenya automotive industry, especially since the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) regulations are changing—where all of us from January 2023 will have to assemble vehicles to the Euro 4 emissions standard,” said Chris Ndala, the managing director of DT Dobie Kenya.
“For the Volkswagen brand, we have enough stock today and will be moving to Euro4 engines from January next year as per regulations in Kenya,” added Mr Ndala.
Euro 4 standards are stringent requirements on automakers introduced on all new cars in January 2005 and all newly registered cars from January 2006 to ensure they produce vehicles whose engines have lower emissions.
To pass Euro 4 standards, petrol cars had to produce carbon monoxide (CO) of no more than one gramme per kilometre (g/km), total hydro carbon (THCs) emissions of no more than 0.10 g/km and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of 0.08g/km.
In April, Kebs announced it would require all second-hand car imports to adhere to higher emission standards.
The standards also require local assemblers to meet the Euro 4 standards beginning January 1, 2023.
The new standard also notes that the “exhaust shall not emit dense blue or clearly visible black smoke.”
According to the World Bank, domestic and international transport accounts for about 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions with a projected estimate of 60 percent by 2050.
Greening in the transport sector has been gaining pace as more people opt for fuel-efficient models such as hybrids that are both electric and petrol powered.
This shift is also fuelling a revamp of strategies as businesses — including Kenya Power — set sights on creating new revenue streams in charging electric vehicles.