Kenya plans special tariff for electric cars


A BasiGo full electric passenger bus. FILE PHOTO | POOL

Kenya plans a special tariff for electric car charging stations that will be cheaper than the average domestic consumer, in the latest e-mobility by East Africa’s biggest economy.

The tariff plan revealed in the application by Kenya Power to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the sector regulator, will price consumption of between 200 and 15,000-kilowatt hours at Sh17 per kWh, lower than the ordinary domestic tariff proposed at Sh21.68 per unit.

The tariff is expected to hold until 2025, providing predictability to investors in e-mobility.

“The introduction of the new consumer categories and tariffs captures changes in the market. A special e-mobility tariff will influence the demand and growth for e-mobility,” said Kenya Power.

The utility has been leading the transition to electric mobility and has begun the construction of charging systems for homes, businesses and the public.

Kenya Power is set to establish an e-mobility network infrastructure system in Nairobi and Nakuru from where it will pilot the charging hubs.

The lack of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and motorcycles has been one of the leading impediments to the full adoption of e-mobility, prompting the utility to take the lead in the switch.

The Kenya Power pilot, which began in September, is expected to take six months while a countrywide roll-out of e-mobility infrastructure will take between 18 months and two years.

Last year, the utility which outlined plans to abandon diesel and petrol vehicles indicated it had enough power to charge 50,000 buses and two million motorcycles during off-peak hours.

The State-owned company said it would set aside Sh40 million in the year ending June 2023 to purchase three electric vehicles on a pilot basis.

Over the medium term, the firm is seeking to purchase 50 long-range electric bikes as part of its larger plan to phase out fuel-powered motorbikes within its fleet.

Electricity Generating Company KenGen has also become a leader in the transition journey and unveiled its first electric vehicle (EV) fleet in December.

The fleet which constitutes of two sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and two-double cabin pickups is expected to provide the company with first-hand experience and data to inform policy development.

KenGen has also planned to set up 30 EV charging stations by the end of this year and already has two stations in Nairobi and Naivasha for internal use.

EV firms such as BasiGo and Roam who have been piloting electric buses in the country are some of the potential takers of new EV charging stations and beneficiaries of the special e-mobility tariff.

Earlier this week, for instance, BasiGo inked a new partnership with Associated Vehicle Assemblers Limited to assemble over 1,000 electric buses in the next three years.

BasiGo has also outlined plans to diversify its revenue by installing EV charging infrastructure over the medium term.

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