The state of electric vehicles in Kenya is very interesting, and for additional details regarding local developments, you can read more here.
We say interesting because the space has attracted a lot of interest over the last couple of years. Leading nations have already made plans to transition from gas-powered vehicles to electric replacements. The UK, for instance, wants to do a full transition by 2030. Others, such as China, already have hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles on their roads, including electric buses. The US has also made key strides in that regard thanks to the popularity of Tesla and Rivian. Traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car makers are already electrifying some of their fleet, which is a step towards realizing the transition in the near future.
You cannot say the same for emerging markets such as Kenya, but some work is being done, albeit at a slow pace. There are multiple electric vehicle manufacturers operating locally, including BasiGo, and ROAM (formerly OpiBus).
ROAM has already released some of its electric vehicles for the Kenyan market. It has an electric bike named Roam Air that goes for KES 180K, which can also be bought on a loan basis thanks to its partnership with M-KOPA.
The company launched an electric bus called Roam Rapid. This one is already on the roads after Matatu SACCO Kenya Mpya secured one. The vehicle plies Thika Road and Waiyaki Way. It has a 384-kWh battery, has a range of 360 km on a single charge. For the bus to return to full capacity, charging will take less than two hours. For this reason, two DC 180kW chargers have been fitted at the Roam warehouse to cater to full charges and top-ups.
The other company, BasiGo, says that it has received 15, 25-seater electric bus orders. According to a statement first seen on Business Daily, the buses will be hitting the roads as soon as January 2023. This also follows months of testing two BasiGo buses with SACCOs such as CitiHoppa.
This will go a long way in putting as many electric buses on Nairobi roads as possible. We will also be updating you as soon as other companies do more in realizing this goal.