E-Mobility In Kenya: Find Out the Latest

The last year has seen Kenyans hit with rising costs of fuel like never before due to political and environmental factors around the world. I bet many of us thought of alternative options such as switching to electric systems. The bigger issue is indeed the effects of pollution on the environment and climate change. “Electric mobility also known as e-mobility is the use of electricity to power the transport infrastructure as an alternative to fossil fuels. This electricity is preferably from renewable energy sources such as hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar to minimise overall emissions. Kenya’s energy mix is very favourable to support e-mobility with nearly 85% of our energy coming from renewables. This is a great opportunity for Kenya.” reports EPRA.

Last week at an event organized by the Swedish embassy Roam Motors‘ founder shared the same statistics as he talked about what the “born in Sweden, designed in Kenya” company is all about. The event was attended by other stakeholders in the e-mobility space such as Kenya Power Managing Director, Technical University of Kenya, and a rep from ABB Electrical.

You have probably encountered an electric car in Kenya especially if you use e-hailing cab services, although their number is still reported to be in the lower hundreds the way things are going, there will be more electric means of transport on the roads soon. Bolt Kenya during a World Earth Day event this year announced they plan to add more E-bikes and cars.

At the Swedish Embassy event, which was titled “The Future of E-Mobility in Kenya,” there were many points discussed on getting Kenya ahead in this development area. The stakeholders were also challenged to make it easier for the public to adopt E-mobility. Right after Kenya Power announced their own plans to ditch fossil fuel cars in the near future.

Speaking to Kamau Samuel, an electric engineer, and car dealer, he feels like E-cars will be perfected in the next 20- 30 years although he lists cars like the Nissan Leaf and Teslas and other brands from China as options one can choose from. “Although there are people converting combustion engines to electric engines, I would personally prefer a fully electric car.” He also says the Kenyan government has the ability to decide how fast we adapt with incentives and laws like other developed countries have. Lastly, “the manufacturers should be policed to ensure they are getting their raw materials sustainably and ethically”.

Roam Motors and M-Kopa Partnership

Roam was founded as a research project at one of Sweden’s top technical universities with a mission to implement electric mobility in emerging markets. This meant rethinking how the technology would be implemented and how it should be provided. Kenya was chosen as the location for the headquarters as it is the fastest-growing nation in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past few months, they have launched an electric motorcycle (Roam Air), signed a supply agreement with M-Kopa for the deployment of electric motorcycles in Africa, and launched the Roam Rapid – the first electric mass transit bus in Kenya. “In the next coming months, we will start the mass production of the electric motorcycles and we will launch the pilot of the Roam Rapid.” says Marieke Kuppeveld.

It’s great to watch the E-mobility space in Kenya as the world moves to a new source of power to get us from one point to the next. The education sector is also highly involved in ensuring Kenya is leading in innovative projects.

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