Kenya Power will, from next month, start constructing electric charging systems for homes, businesses and the public across the country as the shift to clean transport gathers momentum. The State-owned power utility is seeking a firm to build an e-mobility network infrastructure system (ENIS) in Nairobi and Nakuru to pilot the charging stations.
Kenya, like the rest of the world, is pushing for clean mobility to reduce environmental pollution from fossil fuels, placing Kenya Power at the centre of the shift due to the need for electricity supplies for motorists.
The State utility has floated tender inviting bidders who will build the infrastructure that will also allow customers to pay via M-Pesa and credit like in the traditional fueling stations.
Clean mobility is fast gathering pace in Kenya, with several companies already piloting electric-powered buses and motorcycles, placing Kenya Power at the centre given the need for electricity supplies.
The lack of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and motorcycles is one of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of Kenya’s shift to clean mobility, prompting the move by Kenya Power to seek a firm to build the system countrywide.
“Kenya Power intends to implement an e-mobility network infrastructure system. The system will ensure that e-mobility customers in Kenya can be served in a seamless manner countrywide where Kenya Power has grid presence.”
Clean energy transport solutions are key to reversing the negative effects of climatic change. Diesel and petrol-powered transport are estimated to account for a quarter of the global greenhouse emissions.
Kenya is racing against time to catch up with the rest of the world in the shift to clean mobility in efforts to reduce pollution of the environment. The European Commission wants to ban the sale of diesel and petrol-powered vehicles by 2035, signalling a global shift that is prompting Kenya to set the ground for its e-mobility.
Leading car manufacturer Volkswagen aims to stop selling super and diesel-powered engine vehicles in Europe by 2035. Other firms including Volvo and Ford have also announced plans to shift to mass production of electric-powered vehicles.
Local start-up BasiGo has disclosed plans to roll out at least 20 electric-powered buses across the country by December highlighting the need for Kenya Power to set up the charging systems.
Opibus, which converts diesel and petrol vehicles and motorcycle engines into electric, and Kiri, the manufacturer of electric motorbikes, are among Kenya-based firms leading the shift to e-mobility. BasiGo plans to roll out more buses after the successful piloting of two 25-seater electric buses on two routes within Nairobi since March.
Kenya Power’s electric charging infrastructure, whose estimated cost remains undisclosed, will offer the utility company an opportunity to tap into clean mobility and grow its revenues.
Piloting of the electric-charging network will take six months from September setting the stage for a countrywide roll-out that Kenya Power says will take between 18 months to two years. Kenya Power says it has enough power to charge 50,000 buses and two million motorcycles during off-peak hours giving confidence to firms that have launched electric-powered automobiles.