CarsTech

Kenya Power Tests Use of Electric Motorbikes, Plans To Set Up Charging Stations

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Amperstand Electric Bike | Image Courtesy The Observer

Electricity distribution company, Kenya Power, announced that it plans to set up electric car charging stations across the country, starting with the Nairobi metropolis. The announcement comes on the heels of the news that Kenya Power and UNEP have partnered to see the former switch to electric motorbikes in an effort to encourage the adoption of e-vehicles in Kenya.

Electric Motorbikes

UNEP has donated 50 e-bikes, received from the Shenzen Shenling Car Company, to the electricity generation company, that will be used by meter readers instead of the traditional motorcycles. The arrangement is currently under pilot and will see various government ministries and county government offices receive these electric bikes for their use on a day-to-day basis. The pilot program will last between 6 and 12 months.

“Kenya is importing more motorcycles than cars, doubling its fleet every 7-8 years. These are generally inefficient and poorly maintained polluting motorcycles. Shifting to electric bikes in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and elsewhere will reduce costs, air pollution, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, as well as create jobs,” said Joyce Msuya, UNEP Deputy Executive Director.

Electric Cars in Kenya

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Nopia Electric taxis. Image Courtesy The Hub Karen

The adoption of electric cars in Kenya has been on a slow growth but both government and citizens are making strides to accelerate the adoption. In 2020, Kenya’s ministry of energy hinted at making it compulsory for new buildings to include electric car chargers in their premises.

This was later followed by the announcement that KenGen was looking to set up charging stations around Nairobi and now Kenya Power has similar plans. We do have private citizens who have invested in electric cars, like the ride-hailing service, Nopia, which only uses electric cars and has charging stations at Two Rivers Mall, The Hub, and Thika Road Mall. Upcoming charging stations startup, evchaja, has been hinting at a launch in Kenya but has not given timelines yet.

“As part of our implementation plan, we are developing appropriate infrastructure and building internal capacity to enable us to support the use of electric vehicles across the value chain. To this end, we plan to set up charging facilities across the country beginning with Nairobi to support direct charging of vehicles,” said Kenya Power managing director Bernard Ngugi.

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