BasiGo, an e-mobility startup, has announced its official entry into the Kenyan market. The company will provide electric buses for purchase by public transport providers, offering them a more environmentally sustainable solution that is also cheaper to maintain than current diesel buses.
BasiGo’s operations will initially target the public transport ecosystem in Nairobi, with the company looking to eventually launch their services in other East African countries. The company is sourcing buses from BYD Automotive, a global manufacturer of electric buses, and plans to locally assemble buses in Kenya.
The startup has already raised Ksh. 100 million in funding with the first batch of electric buses set to arrive in Kenya later this year.
Buses and other public means of transport remain one of the primary modes of transport in African cities. Diesel engines however, are a major source of urban air pollution, which the WHO now identifies as one of the biggest environmental threats to human health.
By comparison, electric buses in Kenya would produce 95% less carbon emissions since most of the country’s electricity comes from renewable sources such as hydropower and geothermal. Electric buses would also offer transport providers reprieve from the cost of diesel which has risen sharply in the last few months.
“For years, diesel-powered buses have been the only viable solution for bus operators in Kenya. We are excited to provide public transport operators with a new option: state-of-the-art electric buses that are more affordable, more reliable, and reduce bus operator exposure to the rising cost of diesel fuel. Our goal is to help bus owners in Kenya realize these savings, and in the process, help Kenya become a global leader in sustainable public transport,” said Jit Bhattacharya, CEO and Co-Founder at BasiGo.
BasiGo will offer buses with 25 and 36 seat capacities and a targeted range of over 250 km, allowing transport providers to complete a full day’s operations before returning to a BasiGo charging depot at night for recharging and maintenance.
To reduce the upfront cost of their electric buses, BasiGo is launching an innovative, Pay-As-You-Go battery financing model. Through this model, BasiGo offers electric buses at an equivalent upfront cost to diesel buses, while then financing the battery and charging through a separate usage-based subscription fee.