5 Feb 24

Ethiopia becomes first country to ban ICE vehicles

Ethiopia is to claim the accolade of becoming the first country in the world to ban the importation of all internal combustion engine cars, both new and used.

The East African country will adopt an electric-only strategy as it seeks to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel imports and clean the air in its cities. More than half of the $6 billion Ethiopia spent last year on oil imports was allocated to vehicle use, and the country struggles to access favourable foreign currency exchange rates.

Last week (29 January), Alemu Sime, Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics, told Ethiopia’s House of Peoples Representatives Standing Committee for Urban Infrastructure and Transport Affairs, that: “There are works to reduce air pollution related to green transport and in this regard a decision has been made that no automobile vehicle can be imported unless it is electric.”

EV charging

He added that: “Work is being done to fill the charging stations required for electric vehicles.”

While EV charging infrastructure is limited, Ethiopia does generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, according to the International Energy Agency, with strong solar, hydropower and wind power projects.

Further details of the ban on the importation of gasoline and diesel vehicles have not been released, but it is striking that it will be Ethiopia, rather than an EV pioneer such as Norway that becomes the first nation to transition to a zero emission only car policy.


Image: Shutterstock 2232887967

Authored by: Jonathan Manning