Local motor vehicle assemblers have asked the government to postpone enforcing the new stricter emissions standards.
The government, through the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), recently adopted the Euro 4 emissions controls that place tougher and more comprehensive limits on the emissions of carbon monoxide and other pollutants.
Assemblers have written to the Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, saying they need time to comply.
“What we have proposed to the government is to transition to Euro 2 by 2021 and Euro 4 by 2024,” said Rita Kavashe, Chief Executive at Isuzu East Africa and Chairperson of Kenya Motor Industry Association.
“We need to do product planning, confirm fuel quality and prepare our plants,” she said, adding that adoption of stricter emissions rules is normally gradual and not instant.
Efforts to control emissions will result in the fitting of new technologies in vehicles and this will raise their prices, she said.
Some of the actions required of the manufacturers include installation of devices such as particulate filters and catalytic converters that reduce toxic gases into less-toxic pollutants.
Mr Munya has not made a decision on the proposal to postpone the implementation of the Euro 4 standards, which seek to curb environmental pollution.
The new rules replaced the more lenient “Euro zero” measures that had been in place since 2000.
The old standard simply capped the concentration of carbon monoxide at a volume of 0.5 percent while that of hydrocarbons stood at 0.12 percent or 1,200 parts per million (ppm).
The Euro 4 standard has stricter and more comprehensive limits on the pollutants.
Nitrogen oxides, for instance, are capped at 0.25 grammes per kilogramme for light commercial vehicles with diesel engines.