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Kenya’s public transit sector is leading the country’s adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) as the global push for sustainable transport gains momentum. In 2020, commercial electric mass transport buses were introduced on several routes in Nairobi, marking the start of the transition from fossil fuel vehicles in the city.
The initiative was spearheaded by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), in collaboration with various partners. The electric buses were manufactured by a Chinese company, Golden Dragon, and are equipped with lithium-ion batteries that can be charged overnight.
The introduction of electric buses in Nairobi is part of Kenya’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat air pollution. The country aims to have at least 5% of its public transport fleet powered by electricity by 2025.
Electric buses offer several advantages over traditional diesel buses. They produce zero tailpipe emissions, reducing air pollution and improving air quality in urban areas. They are also quieter and have lower operating costs, as electricity is generally cheaper than diesel fuel.
The electric buses in Nairobi have a range of approximately 300 kilometers on a single charge, making them suitable for daily operations. Charging infrastructure has been installed at various bus terminals and depots to support the electrification of the public transport fleet.
The transition to electric buses in Nairobi has been well-received by both passengers and operators. Passengers appreciate the quieter and smoother ride, while operators benefit from lower fuel and maintenance costs. The electric buses have also attracted attention from other African countries, with Tanzania and Uganda expressing interest in adopting similar initiatives.
Kenya’s electric vehicle market is not limited to buses. The country has also seen an increase in the adoption of electric motorcycles, commonly known as “boda bodas.” These motorcycles are popular in Kenya for their affordability and ability to navigate through traffic congestion. The government has provided incentives to encourage the use of electric motorcycles, including tax breaks and reduced import duties.
The growth of the electric vehicle market in Kenya is supported by a developing charging infrastructure. Charging stations are being installed in major cities and along major highways to cater to the increasing number of EVs on the road. The government is also exploring the use of solar-powered charging stations to further promote clean energy usage.
Kenya’s transition to electric vehicles aligns with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. The transportation sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and transitioning to electric vehicles can help mitigate the environmental impact.
Top things to Know
– Kenya’s public transit sector is leading the country’s adoption of electric vehicles.
– Commercial electric mass transport buses were introduced in Nairobi in 2020.
– The electric buses are manufactured by Golden Dragon and have a range of approximately 300 kilometers.
– Kenya aims to have 5% of its public transport fleet powered by electricity by 2025.
– Electric motorcycles, known as “boda bodas,” are also gaining popularity in Kenya.
– The government is providing incentives and developing charging infrastructure to support the growth of the electric vehicle market.
Original article: https://techcrunch.com/2023/07/24/public-transit-is-driving-ev-sector-growth-in-kenya/