Kenyan electric vehicle start-up BasiGo has introduced a Sh5 million passenger electric bus in anticipation of increased demand for environmentally friendly transport.
The 25-seater bus, which is designed by the world’s largest manufacturer of electric buses BYD Automotive, has a 250-kilometre range with a recharging period of less than four hours.
Buyers will also be subjected to a daily subscription fee of Sh20 per kilometre to cover the cost of leasing the battery, nightly charging at a BasiGo depot as well as service and maintenance for the buses.
"Today marks an important step towards a cleaner and brighter future for public transit in Kenya,” BasiGo chief executive and founder Jit Bhattacharya said.
“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.”
BasiGo is running a pilot programme with the two PSV operators in Nairobi. While Citi Hoppa will deploy the buses between the city centre and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, East Shuttle plans to use the buses on the Eastlands routes.
“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.
Customers can reserve the K6 electric bus with no deposit and no cancellation penalty. Deliveries of first locally-assembled K6 electric buses will begin in the second half of 2022.
Kenya Power says it is ready to work with electric mobility firms by supplying electricity for charging the batteries.
“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,” acting kenya Power CEO Rosemary Oduor said.
She added that the company will support the identification of sites for potential charging stations, as well as requisite geo-mapping software to enable users locate the nearest charging station.