Transport

NopeaRide shuts taxi service in Kenya as parent firm declares insolvency

Nopea ride

NopeaRide service was first launched in Kenya in August of 2018 under the name NopiaRide by a Finnish company EkoRent Oy. PHOTO | COURTESY

Electric vehicle (EV) taxi brand NopeaRide is permanently exiting the Kenyan market after its majority shareholder and financier EkoRent Oy declared insolvency in Finland.

InfraCo Africa Limited, which is the minority shareholder in NopeaRide's operator EkoRent Africa Limited, has filed for the liquidation of the company at the High court of Kenya with a hearing set for December 13.

"Following the announcement that our majority shareholder, EkoRent Oy, has declared insolvency in Finland, we are sad to announce that InfraCo Africa Limited the minority shareholder has now filed for the liquidation of EkoRent Africa Limited in the High Court of Kenya," NopeaRide said in a statement on its website.

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"This is due to the fact that EkoRent Oy was the principal financier of EkoRent Africa Limited and all the technical knowledge on the running of the business lay with EkoRent Oy."

The company added that it has taken its fleet of electric vehicles off the road and has notified staff and corporate clients of the developments.

The firm says it is now working with relevant authorities to ensure that its operations are wound up in accordance with local legislation.

NopeaRide was launched in the Kenyan market in 2018, with only three electric vehicles and two charges before growing its fleet and charging network the following year.

By June 2022, the taxi-hailing service had imported 70 Nopea cars into the country.

The company also operated the largest electric vehicle charging network in East Africa.

Electric mobility is yet to be adopted on a mass scale but the industry has attracted more players eyeing the eventual transition to clean transportation.

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In August, Swedish-Kenyan technology company Roam rolled out an electric bus dubbed Rome Rapid, with a capacity of 90 passengers targeting public transport.

After launching an Sh5 million passenger electric bus in the country, the start-up BasiGo announced it will deliver 15 locally assembled electric buses in January 2023 with plans to have over 1,000 EVs in the next five years.

The firm is already deploying direct current charging stations at strategic locations across Nairobi to support this expanded fleet.

Car and General (C&G) also in January announced that it will start selling electric vehicles and tuk-tuks as part of a plan to diversify into the ‘green’ mobility business that is expected to grow amid a push to address climate change and pollution.

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