Shipping & Logistics

Firm sets up charging stations as electric cars drive into city

chargenet

Bernard Wasike, an electrical engineer at ChargeNet Kenya, plugs a car at an EV charging station at ABC Place, Waiyaki Way, Westlands on September 14, 2021. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

john-mutua-img

Summary

  • ChargeNet Kenya is installing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in Nairobi.
  • The centres will provide the equivalent of petrol stations for electric cars.

Kenya is like the rest of the world headed to using electric cars and motorbikes to curb environmental pollution from petroleum fuels and one company is at the forefront of driving the change.

Electric cars are already on the Kenyan roads and the infrastructure to support them is gradually building up.

ChargeNet Kenya, the zero emission mobility products and service subsidiary of Mayleen Corporation, is playing a key part in this transformation through installation of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in Nairobi. The centres will provide the equivalent of petrol stations for electric cars.

At the ABC Shopping Mall along Waiyaki Way, an EV station is already in use and has been charging for free for the two and half months, a move aimed at promoting uptake of electric cars in Kenya.

“At ABC Mall we are charging for free for three months to promote the idea of electric cars. We have universal EV chargers that can power an Asian or European electric car,” Ruwan Fernando, CEO of Mayleen Corporation, told Business Daily.

It will cost Sh80 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) when the free charging promotion ends.

Installation of a two similar stations in Kasarani and Ngong Racecourse is on-going and will be completed in the coming weeks.

ChargeNet Kenya is operating the ABC Mall station with the management of the shopping mall but the firm is jointly working with fuel dealers. It has signed deals with Hass Energy and Be Energy.

The Kasarani EV charging system is at Hass Energy’s station next to Santon Estate and another at Be Energy’s Ngong Racecourse station.

“By end of October, we expect to install ten charging stations across Kenya and for now our focus is the capital, Nairobi,” Mr Ruwan says.

The firm’s chargers offer a two-in-one with powering system: Level two station whose full capacity is 6.6 kWh which has dual port systems and level three DC fast charger station whose capacity is 30kW.

A dual port system allows users to charge the Asian and European/American cars— the two types of electric cars.

Manufacturers install level one chargers to all EV cars for domestic use. Level two and three chargers offer more efficient and fast charging systems that can be used in the domestic and international markets.

A level two charger takes about two hours to fully charge a Nissan Leaf— one of the most popular electric cars in Kenya, depending on the onboard charging output while the level three takes about 20 minutes to fully power the model.

The United Nations Environment Programme says the global car fleet will triple by 2050, with developing world accounting for over 80 per cent of the increase, highlighting the need to shift to clean energy.

The agency is promoting introduction of clean energy vehicles in developing world.

ChargeNet Kenya’s EV charging systems are already in use by Rubis Rwanda in the capital Kigali while back home, Kenya Bureau of Standards in in plans to formulate standards for e- mobility and has tapped one of the firm’s engineers to its advisory panel.

The firm has received inquiries from families keen to install EV chargers at their houses for models like the BMW i3, an indicator that Kenyans are looking at clean and non-fossil transport.