David Muthike, KenGen’s Strategy and Innovation Director said this on a webinar convened by the Energy Society Kenya. “On innovation, we are exploring to participate in manufacturing and we have also rolled out charging infrastructure with a pilot within our premises,” he said.
He also said that KenGen is positioning itself to rollout electric public service vehicles as Kenya reduces reliance on diesel. “The case to have electric vehicles is there and KenGen is ready to support that with renewable energy,” he said in the webinar.
It is quite commendable that KenGen is exploring the idea of having an electric car charging infrastructure in the country. There are some obvious hurdles to this. This will be dependent on electric car adoption in the country, which will directly affect the scaling of the project.
I am also curious as to what type of charging power KenGen would implement in their electric car charging network. Tesla has their V3 supercharging network that pumps out 250kw of power at peak rates which can add 120km of range in 5 minutes. Porsche has a 270kw fast charging network for their electric supercar, the Porsche Taycan.
Electric car adoption in the world has gained traction the last few years and we can thank vocal companies like Tesla. Tesla have set the precedent where electric cars don’t have to look weird or to be an afterthought like how other car companies do. Couple that with their great user interface, ever increasing range, insane performance that beats traditional supercars and their extensive electric charging stations in developed countries.
Locally, electric car adoption is growing slowly. It is not uncommon to see hybrid cars in big towns like Nairobi. However, we have seen companies that have electric car taxis, like Nopia Ride. Public electric charge networks are virtually non-existent and KenGen sees this as an opportunity to capitalize on this when Kenyans start buying purely electric cars enmasse. Currently, if you decide to get an electric car, you will be forced to be charging it in your house, which is usually slower than traditional fast charging public networks.