BasiGo launches Sh5m electric bus targeting PSV operators

Electric vehicle start-up BasiGo has launched a Sh5 million passenger electric bus as it seeks to tap the rising demand for ‘green’ cars.

The 25-seater bus is designed by BYD Automotive, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric buses. It has a 250km range with a recharging period of less than four hours.

Owners of the electric bus will pay a daily subscription fee of Sh20 per kilometre, which is the cost of leasing the battery, charging at a BasiGo station and service and maintenance for the buses.

“Today marks an important step towards a cleaner and brighter future for public transit in Kenya,” said Jit Bhattacharya, BasiGo chief executive and founder.

“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 pilot programme with the two PSV operators in Nairobi. While Citi Hoppa will operate the buses between the city centre and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, East Shuttle will deploy the buses on the Eastlands routes.

“With the possibility of less maintenance and avoiding the cost of diesel fuel, these buses address many of the hassles our owners face and should be better for our business overall,” said John Moses Kamau, East Shuttle Director of Finance.

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 partners EV firms through supplying electricity for charging the batteries.

“To support the growth of electrified motorisation 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,” noted acting Kenya Power chief executive Rosemary Oduor.

The power distributor, Ms Oduor added, any will support the identification of sites for potential charging stations, as well as requisite geo-mapping software to enable users locate the nearest charging station.

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