Electric mobility startup, BasiGo, has today launched a Sh5 million passenger bus in Kenya in anticipation of increased demand for environmentally friendly transport.
The bus was designed by BYD locomotive, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric buses. The 25 seater bus has a 250 kilometre range and is fully rechargeable in under four hours.
“Today marks an important step towards a cleaner and brighter future for public transit in Kenya,” BasiGo chief executive and founder Jit Bhattacharya sai
Buyers will also be expected to pay a daily subscription fee of Sh20 per kilometre to cover the cost of leasing the battery, nightly charging at a BasiGo depot, and bus service and maintenance.
The startup company has partnered with Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with two pioneering public service vehicle (PSV) operators Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle to give Kenyans their first chance to ride in an electric bus.”
The former will operate between the City Centre and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while the latter will operate in the Eastlands route.
“With the possibility of less maintenance and avoiding the cost of diesel fuel, these buses address many of the hassles our owners face and should be better for our business overall,” said East Shuttle Director of Finance John Moses Kamau.
BasiGo says that customers will be able to book the K6 electric bus without paying a deposit or incurring cancellation fees. The first locally built K6 electric buses will be delivered in the second half of 2022.
The electric buses have been contracted among several other firms to offer services on the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) which will connect the city’s termini. The system will also link to Nairobi’s Commuter Rail System (NCR)
In late 2021, BasiGo indicated that it would launch its buses and provide a flexible financing approach to allow interested clients to purchase the buses for the same price as traditional gasoline buses.
“The cost of electric bus technology has come down dramatically over the last 10 years, to the point where electric buses can offer significant savings compared to fossil-fuel buses. Our goal is to help bus owners in Kenya realize these savings, and in the process, help Kenya become a global leader in sustainable public transport,” Bhattacharya said at the time.
Kenya Power is looking to tap into a new market from the introduction of electric vehicles (EV) on the Kenyan roads.
“To support the growth of electrified motorization in the country, Kenya Power has established a liaison office which will act as our one-stop shop to champion the company’s e-mobility business,” Kenya Power Acting CEO Rosemary Oduor said.
Oduor said that the utility would assist in the discovery of prospective charging station locations, as well as the necessary geo-mapping software to help users find the nearest charging station.