Kenya Accelerates Electric Vehicle Adoption, Paving the Way for a Sustainable Transportation Future
Kenya is witnessing a surge in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) driven by the government’s National Electric Mobility Plan, which aims to create a greener transportation system and implement sustainable road traffic management strategies. This shift towards EVs is being fueled by increasing interest from local and international stakeholders seeking to invest in and develop Kenya’s e-mobility sector.
A recent report by Kenya Power highlighted the significant growth potential of the e-mobility sector in Kenya, emphasizing its positive impact on the economy and transportation costs. The report estimates that over 1,350 electric-powered vehicles operate on Kenyan roads, with motorcycles accounting for 62% of the total. The annual registration of motorcycles has doubled over the past five years, reaching 252,601 units, and Kenya currently has a total of 1.2 million motorcycles.
The government’s commitment to promoting e-mobility is evident in its various initiatives, including the Expression of Interest (EOI) announced in August 2022, seeking partners to collaborate on the implementation of the Electric Vehicle charging system, E-Mobility Network Infrastructure System (ENIS). This move is expected to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles, which has gained significant momentum worldwide in recent years.
Several startups are actively driving the adoption of electric mobility in Kenya, including Roam, BasiGo, Kiri, STIMA, EVM Africa, Caetano, and Agilitee Africa. Roam launched the first mass transit electric bus in Nairobi in October 2022, while BasiGo introduced the country’s first electric buses for passenger use last year. STIMA, a battery-swapping technology company, partnered with OneElectric, an Indian manufacturer of electric motorcycles, to supply over 3,000 electric motorcycles in Kenya.
Further demonstrating the public’s receptivity to EVs, a recent survey by Epson revealed that 72.1% of Kenyans are willing to invest in EVs to combat climate change. This global survey, conducted with over 30,000 respondents in 39 markets, sheds light on worldwide attitudes towards climate change mitigation strategies.
In support of Kenya’s transition to e-mobility, several banks have developed affordable financing plans for investors. NCBA Bank, for instance, has established a KShs. 2 billion fund to finance up to 80% of the cost of electric vehicles. Additionally, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and BasiGo Ltd have partnered to provide funding for investors interested in acquiring electric public service vehicles.
Kenya’s President, William Ruto, has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to enhancing the country’s climate action efforts by adopting low-carbon and electric mobility systems. He has stated, “The adoption of electric mobility is a priority intervention to address the challenges of pollution.”
Kenya’s embrace of electric mobility represents a significant step towards a cleaner, more sustainable transportation future. The government’s supportive policies, coupled with the growing interest from stakeholders and the public, are creating a conducive environment for the widespread adoption of EVs in Kenya. As the country continues to expand its e-mobility infrastructure and encourage investment in this sector, it is poised to become a leader in sustainable transportation in Africa and beyond.