Kenya set to get share of Sh130m e-mobility cash


African Development Bank headquarters. PHOTO | COURTESY

Kenya is one of the seven African countries set to benefit from a Sh129.3 million ($1 million) grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to boost the shift to electric mobility.

The credit line from Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) —AfDB’s special fund for renewable energy— will go to the private sector to fund the designing of business models for electric vehicles and help develop a bankable pipeline of e-mobility projects.

Kenya is one of the countries in Africa spearheading the shift to clean electric transport in a bid to curb pollution of the environment through the use of diesel and super-powered transport.

“The African Development Bank is committed to building a sustainable and more climate-resilient future by catalysing private investment in low-carbon solutions,” AfDB said in a statement.

The other countries to benefit from the grant are Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.

SEFA offers technical assistance and concessional finance instruments to remove market barriers and improve the risk-return profile of individual investments in electric mobility.

AfDB says that the project dubbed Green Mobility Facility for Africa will help create some 19,000 full-time jobs in the seven countries besides cutting over 2,175,000 carbon dioxide equivalent tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Electric mobility is a critical plank in the global push to reduce pollution through the use of clean-powered vehicles that will significantly cut the reliance on fossil fuels.

Kenya has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of local firms manufacturing electric motorbikes and those importing electric cars and buses as the shift to clean transport gathers momentum.

BasiGo and Swedish-Kenyan technology company Roam have since last year been piloting electric buses in the country while Mayleen Corporation has also been ramping up shipments of electric cars and scooters.

Banks have also joined the shift through the roll-out of credit lines to fund the purchase of electric vehicles.

Kenya is estimated to have at least 1,000 electric vehicles and motorbikes on the roads and the number is expected to jump significantly in the coming years on accelerated demand.

Besides the private sector, Kenya Power and Kenya Electricity Generating Company are also setting up electric vehicle charging stations in anticipation of the growing demand.

Kenya Power will for the first time introduce a tariff for electric mobility with a price range of between 200 and 15,000 kilowatts/hour at Sh17 per kWh.

The charge if approved in the new tariffs to be gazetted next month will be in place for two years, offering certainty to investors in the e-mobility sector.

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