Electric buses in Kenya: BasiGo, an e-mobility start-up based in Nairobi, on 9th March 2022 flagged off the first electric passenger buses and announced it was taking reservations for the first production units of the K6 Electric Bus.
The buses arrived in the country in December 2021 and have undergone extensive validation and reliability testing in preparation for the pilot launch. The buses shall now go into operation as standard PSVs with Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle. Citi Hoppa will be deploying the BasiGo electric bus on routes between the city centre and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
East Shuttle plans to deploy its electric bus on the Eastlands side of Nairobi. The electric bus pilot program will give passengers along these routes the chance to ride in the electric bus just like any other matatu.
The K6 is a 25-seat, 250-km range electric bus that recharges in less than four hours. The K6 is designed by BYD Automotive, the largest manufacturer of electric buses in the world. Through BasiGo’s unique Pay-As-You-Drive battery financing program, owners can purchase the K6 for Ksh5 million plus a daily subscription fee equal to Ksh20 per kilometre which includes the cost of leasing the battery, nightly charging at a BasiGo depot, service and maintenance for the electric bus.
Customers can reserve the K6 electric bus with no deposit and no cancellation penalty. BasiGo said delivery to customers of the first locally assembled K6 electric buses will begin in the second half of 2022.
“Today marks an important step towards a cleaner and brighter future for public transit in Kenya,” said Mr Jit Bhattacharya, CEO and Co-Founder of BasiGo company. “We are thrilled to be partnering with two pioneering PSV operators – Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle – to give Kenyans their first chance to ride in an electric bus.”
Mr Bhattacharya said these buses would transform expectations for bus travel in Nairobi as they will be carrying passengers in safety, comfort, and with zero emissions. “With Kenya’s abundant renewable electricity to power these buses, we can make Kenya a global leader in the shift to sustainable public transit,” he said.
>> Firm Secures Sh800 Million To Start Producing Electric Vehicles
>> Points Where Kenya Power Will Establish Vehicle Charging Stations
>> Here Comes Beasts Of 91-Seater Buses That Will Take Over Nairobi
The launch was led by Principal Secretary in the State Department of Transport, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development and Public Works, Dr. Eng. Joseph K. Njoroge. The event was also attended by representatives of BasiGo’s pilot partners, Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle.
There were also representatives from BYD Automotive and Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). BYD and KPLC are BasiGo’s key strategic partners in the deployment of electric buses and charging infrastructure.
Mr Andrew Kamau, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum the BRT (bus rapid transport) system in Nairobi would ease traffic. “These buses from BasiGo are proof that we can make that a reality and work towards building a sustainable transport sector,” he said.
Eng. Rosemary Oduor, CEO and Acting Managing Director of Kenya Power, pledged to work with BasiGo in developing the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. “We are ready to play our part in the electrification of transportation and will strive to support this endeavour and the transformation of the country to mitigate the effects of climate change.” she said.