Kenya: More electric buses for Nairobi’s public transport fleet
Written by: Yunus Kemp
A public transport operator in Kenya has taken stock of five electric buses which will operate in the capital Nairobi.
Metrotrans Ltd is a Nairobi-based Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (Sacco). Its fleet operates on Nairobi routes.
The 26-passenger BYD K6 buses were supplied by Kenyan electric mobility startup BasiGo.
“In addition to being 100% electric, these buses will also be 100% cashless, bringing a revolutionary experience to passengers in Nairobi. This delivery represents the largest fleet of electric buses to enter operations with a single Nairobi bus operator,” said BasiGo.
The buses started operating last week. They will serve the Utawala, Community-Upperhill, and Kiambu routes.
BasiGo’s electric buses have so far driven more than 244,536 kilometres, transporting in excess of 291,000 passengers.
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The electric bus company launched in March 2022 and, including Metrotrans, now supplies five Nairobi bus operators. Their routes include Kikuyu to Kitengela to Civil Servants and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Kenya’s electric bus service has grown steadily this year. In April, the sector secured $377 million from European agencies to build “East Africa’s first electric bus lane.” The EU is to provide $48.79m in grants.
Welcome to the big launch this morning.@MetrotransBus in conjunction with @BasiGoKenya will this morning be launching five(5) electric fleets at Ambassador stage and later offer Free rides to Utawala.— Metrotrans E.A Ltd (@MetrotransBus) May 11, 2023
Don't miss this!https://t.co/2jlsNgsmrt#metrotrans#basigo#Electricbus pic.twitter.com/kKUR3M5Bha
22:00 MetroTrans [@MetrotransBus] takes delivery of 5 electric buses from BasiGo [@BasiGoKenya] to be deployed in the Kikuyu & Utawala routes in Nairobi. pic.twitter.com/JHBZH4N5MI via @MwangoCapital— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) May 11, 2023
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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and French Development Agency (AFD) will jointly support the projects with $255.64 million.
In March, a local company announced that it will assemble at least 130 vehicles manufactured in China for use in the local market. Associated Vehicle Assemblers (AVA) said that it would assemble the electric buses manufactured by Chinese automotive firm BYD (Build Your Dreams) in 2023.
The announcement followed an agreement earlier this year between AVA and BasiGo to produce more than 1,000 buses over the next three years.
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BasiGo’s Pay-As-You-Drive model allows owners to purchase the BYD K6 electric bus without having to pay upfront for the expensive battery technology. This makes the upfront cost similar to that of a traditional diesel bus.
BasiGo’s Pay-As-You-Drive battery subscription service covers everything related to the battery, including charging, warranty, service and maintenance. Operators are charged daily based on kilometres driven, and make payments directly to BasiGo.
Metrotrans said: “BasiGo has supplied us with five top-of-the-line electric buses and will also be providing charging and servicing.”
Road Sense Kenya said “this is a very good commitment in-line with the Global Environment Facility’s global e-mobility programme powered by the UN’s Environment Programme as countries aim to achieve net-zero (GHG) emissions and dependency on fossil fuel.”
Delighted to receive 5 brand new BasiGo 100% electric buses today in Nairobi.— Metrotrans E.A Ltd (@MetrotransBus) May 11, 2023
We are committed to serving you better with safe, affordable and smooth rides.
May God bless you for your continued support.https://t.co/2jlsNgsmrt#Metrotrans#zeroemissionvehicles #basigo pic.twitter.com/5KlvhGWUCA