BasiGo, a Kenya-based EV startup, has introduced a Sh5 million passenger electric bus in response to rising demand for environmentally friendly transportation.
BYD Automotive, the world’s leading maker of electric buses, built the 25-seater bus, which has a 250-kilometer range and a recharge time of less than four hours.
A daily membership fee of Sh20 per kilometer would be charged to buyers to cover the cost of leasing the battery, nightly charging at a BasiGo depot, and bus service and maintenance.
“Today marks an important step towards a cleaner and brighter future for public transit in Kenya,” BasiGo chief executive and founder Jit Bhattacharya said.
“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.”
BasiGo is running a trial operation in Nairobi with two PSV operators. East Shuttle proposes to use the buses on the Eastlands routes, while Citi Hoppa will use them between the city center and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Customers can reserve the K6 electric bus with no deposit and no cancellation penalty. Deliveries of first locally-assembled K6 electric buses will begin in the second half of 2022.
Kenya Power says it is ready to work with electric mobility firms by supplying electricity for charging the batteries.
“To support the growth of electrified motorization 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,” acting kenya Power CEO Rosemary Oduor said.
BasiGo raised $4.3 million in startup capital in February, three months after launching operations in East Africa’s largest economy, to deliver clean-energy mass transit vehicles in a country where fossil-fuel buses are frequently used.