BasiGo has been awarded a USD 1.5 million (KES 227 Million) grant from USAID. The grant is expected to help the mobility start-up to scale up its operations in Rwanda. “The grant will directly support our Electric Bus pilot with Kigali’s leading bus operators, and rapid scale-up of our E-bus solution in Rwanda.” the company wrote.
In the same announcement, the company revealed that their fleet of electric buses will soon arrive in the East African country. It will mark the first time BasiGo has buses in Rwanda. In June this year, BasiGo entered a partnership with Tap&Go (AC Group Rwanda) . The objective of the partnership is to deliver 200 state-of-the-art E-buses to Rwanda by 2025.
Launched in 2020, the company recently celebrated a milestone of serving over a million passengers. As of June 2023, BasiGo had 19 buses on the road. They are operated by private sector partners (Matatu Saccos) using pay-as-you-drive mileage-based leases. The financing solution enables public bus owners to purchase an electric bus for the same upfront cost as an equivalent diesel bus.
The company will pilot leasing arrangements with some of Rwanda’s public transport companies. The pilot project will empower BasiGo to explore opportunities for securing supplementary external funding. It will also engage in comprehensive market research involving both passengers and operators. BasiGo will be able to analyse the feasibility of the initiative and establish an urban pollution monitoring system. All these efforts collectively aim to assess whether the project is viable in the long term.
Basigo to Aims to Fill 700 Buses Gap
Statistics indicate Rwanda’s public transport sector is faced with a need for 700 new buses. This addition will enable the sector to function optimally. The Kenyan start-up hopes its incursion into this new market places the company in a strategic position to fill the gap with EV buses. Rwanda’s government announced its plans to rapidly scale up Kigali’s public transport. The government said it is aiming to convert 20% of the public bus fleet to be electric, by 2030.
Back in March 2020, BasiGo announced a $4.3 million seed funding round. The E Mobility firm has got more investment after it announced $6.6 million in new funding a year ago. This demonstrates the company’s ability raise funding and investor confidence in the electric vehicle market in East Africa.