Startups are eyeing Kenya as an African EV hub

Many e-mobility startups have set up shop in Kenya to try to put electric vehicles on Kenyan roads, in what may turn the country into a hub for EVs in the continent. Working to transform areas including public transportation, motorcycles, and taxis, the companies are looking to capitalize on Kenya’s position as a global leader in renewable energy, its wide tech adoption, and the government’s push for electric vehicles through friendly policies.

“Over 70% of our electricity come from renewable energy today. Not at some point in the future. Today. That means actually in this global push to electrify transit everywhere in the world, it would actually have greater impact for us to do it here,” Jit Bhattacharya, co-founder and CEO of the Nairobi-based e-mobility startup BasiGo, tells Quartz.

BasiGo, Opibus, Kiri, Nopea Ride, EVM Africa, Caetano, and Agilitee Africa are some of the companies pushing for the use of electric vehicles in Kenya. Most of Kenya’s locally generated electricity comes from renewable energy. Kenya is a pacemaker in renewable energy, with 92.3% of electricity generated locally in 2020 coming from hydro, thermal, and wind power—thrice the amount that renewables contributed to electricity generation globally. The country is also forward-looking in the electric vehicle space. Only approximately 350 of the country’s 2.2 million cars are electric vehicles, but Kenya is looking to increase this number.

In 2019, Kenya reduced the import duty for fully electric vehicles. The following year, it released a strategy to increase adoption of EVs while reducing the amount it spends on importing petroleum and cleaning the environment. Measures in the strategy include having public buildings and new estates incorporate charging stations.

The country’s power utility, Kenya Power, plans to build charging points countrywide and push for further reduction of import taxes for electric cars.

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Source :  qz

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