An electric vehicle company, BasiGo, has announced the launch of its operations in Nairobi in a bid to offer an alternative mode of transport and bring clean energy options to the public transport market.
According to the company’s CEO Jit Bhattacharya, the buses will come in 25 and 36 seater capacities and will travel at a range of 250 kilometres.
He added that the decision to move into the Kenyan market was driven by the need to help Kenya become a global leader in sustainable public transport.
“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, and reliable, and reduce bus operator exposure to the rising costs of diesel fuel,” he stated.
The CEO announced that they will be selling locally assembled electric buses through parts from China’s EV maker BYD Automotive.
The company received Ksh100 million as pre-seed funding before entering the market. Among the investors that back the company include Third Derivative (a firm focused on climate technology) and Climate Capital, Silicon Valley venture firm.
The CEO also affirmed that they planned to introduce a financing model that would enable the prices to be cost-friendly. Bhattacharya affirmed that the pilot program would be launched soon.
“The cost of electric bus technology has come down dramatically over the last ten years, to the point where electric buses can offer significant savings compared to fossil-fuel buses.”
“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,” he pointed out.
Apart from Kenya, BasiGo will extend to other markets within the East African region such as Tanzania and Uganda.
Bhattacharya has amassed over 12 years in the electric vehicles industry- working as CEO of Mission Motors in Silicon Valley as well as a senior manager at Project Titan, an electric car.
This comes as various motorists have also been turning their fuel cars into electric vehicles. Among the leading giants in this project includes Opibus, a startup based in Industrial Area, Nairobi that converts minibuses and motorcycles into electric vehicles.