BasiGo gets orders for 500 e-buses from PSV owners

An electric bus belonging to BasiGo parked next to Buruburu charging station on August 10, 2023. 

Photo credit: Pool

Local electric vehicles assembler BasiGo has received orders for 500 buses from public service vehicles (PSV) operators in Nairobi, boosting the firm’s expansion plans.

BasiGo founder and chief executive Jit Bhattacharya said on Tuesday the firm had received deposits for the business and hopes to deliver them to the buyers “as soon as possible”.

The orders are a major boost for the firm as it will increase its sales of buses by nearly 24 times.

“We have sold 21 buses since we began operations and therefore this is a big step up,” Mr Bhattacharya said on the sidelines of the ongoing Second E-mobility Stakeholders’ Conference and Exhibition in Nairobi. The conference is hosted by electricity distributor Kenya Power.

BasiGo last week launched Kenya’s first assembly line for electric buses at the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers plant in Thika.

Mr Bhattacharya said the company is expecting to step up assembly of buses to 20 a month to meet the growing demand.

He added that the orders from PSV owners are just about three percent of the total number of public transport buses operating in the city, which offers the company a window for expansion.

“The new assembly line which we recently launched will help us to increase our production capacity which will enable us to meet the demand for electric buses,” he said.

E-mobility is rapidly growing in Kenya, with the number of registered electric bicycles, motorcycles, three-wheelers, passenger cars, and buses growing exponentially over the last year.

However, a major challenge that has inhibited a faster uptake of EVs is the lack of sufficient charging infrastructure across the country.

This has forced EV firms as well as energy parastatals to step into this space to boost the uptake of e-mobility.

On Monday for instance, Kenya Power said it will invest Sh258 million on buying electric vehicles and setting up related infrastructure over the next three years.

The government has also promised to hand the sector further incentives such as tax breaks to make the vehicles competitive in the market.

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