Kenyan electric bus start-up Basi-Go is set to roll out its first fleet of buses after a successful four-month pilot. The company has announced plans to introduce 20 electric buses by the end of 2022, and increase the number to 100 by 2023 with a goal of hitting 1,000 by 2030.
Speaking during the Kenya Power Expo 2022 a few weeks ago, BasiGo business development head Samuel Kamunya said they had proven that the concept is viable.
“They have been running 50,000km in total. We have proved the concept, the technology is able to work and survive in Kenya and Nairobi for now.”
“Come 2025 our target to have 1,000 buses running in Kenya is possible. What we need is electric power and that is available.”
The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) started installing charging stations to power the electric buses’ batteries in June this year. The stations have the capacity to power at least 50,000 buses and two million motorbikes.
“E-mobility is the fastest way for Kenya to make its energy transition like many other countries,” said KenGen managing director Rebecca Miano.
“It is also a key element in reducing pollution by promoting the use of vehicles that will reduce reliance on diesel and petrol.”
The fact that Kenya generates more than 90% of its energy from renewable sources, according to Kamunya, is one of the main reasons electric vehicles would make sense in Kenya.
BasiGo, which locally assembles buses produced by Chinese company Build Your Dreams (BYD) Automotive, and Swedish-Kenyan electric vehicle startup Roam (formerly Opibus) are the two electric bus startups that are currently operating in Kenya.
By the end of the year, hundreds of electric buses will be operating on African roads as various countries begin to phase out internal combustion engines from major public transportation vehicles.