Kenyan early-stage electric mobility startup company known as BasiGo launched the first electric passenger buses in Kenya on Wednesday at the KICC.
The CEO BasiGo, Citi Hoppa Managing Director Judy Thuo, Ag. Managing Director and CEO, KPLC Rosemary Oduor, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Dr Joseph Njoroge attended the event
The project, which is on its pilot stage had Citi Hoppa and East Shuttles as pioneers of the project.
Citi Hoppa has deployed its buses to operate between Nairobi CBD and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while East Shuttle as its name suggests will have its fleet plying the Eastlands part of Nairobi.
While launching the buses, the founder and CEO BasiGo Jit Bhattacharya said it was a step towards a cleaner and brighter future for public transport in the country.
"Today marks an important step towards a cleaner and brighter future for public transit in Kenya," Bhattacharya said.
Bhattacharya expressed BasiGo’s pleasure to partner with both Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle for the project.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with two pioneering public service vehicle (PSV) operators Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle to give Kenyans their first chance to ride in an electric bus,” he added.
Citi Hoppa Operations Director Githaiga Weru said his company is excited to be the pioneer of electric bus technology and experience BasiGo’s performance.
“We are excited to pilot-test this new electric bus technology and see how it performs as part of our regular bus operations,” Weru said.
East Shuttle Finance Director John Moses Kamau said the electric buses are easier to operate for their drivers as they offer a better experience for their passengers.
He also said the buses will address many troubles faced by their owners because they are of low maintenance.
“With the possibility of less maintenance and avoiding the cost of diesel fuel, these buses address many of the hassles our owners face and should be better for our business overall,” Kamau said.
The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Dr Joseph Njoroge said the buses are proof that they can be a reality in building a sustainable transport sector.
“These buses from BasiGo are proof that we can make that a reality and work towards building a sustainable transport sector,” Njoroge said.
Rosemary Oduor said KPLC has established a liaison office to support the growth of electrified motorisation.
“To support the growth of electrified motorisation in the country, Kenya Power has established a liaison office which will act as our one-stop-shop to champion the company’s e-mobility business,” Oduor said.
She also said KPLC is ready to play its part in the electrification of transportation.
“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.
The buses were designed by the largest manufacturer of electric buses in the world known as BYD Automotive.
The buses, K6 model arrived in the country last December and have since undergone rigorous reliability and validation trials.
The 25-seater K6 bus has a 250-kilometre range for a single charge for just under four hours.