Kenya’s sole electricity supplier – Kenya Power is set to setup charging points for electric vehicles across the country. The move comes amidst diminishing revenues in power distribution as more firms shift to greener energies and homes install solar panels instead of applying to be connected to KPLC’s grid. We recently highlighted new efforts from the power distributor to tap into the growing shift to solar panels by exploring options to install panels in homes as well as on industrial buildings.
According to the parastatal’s managing director Benard Ngugi, the company is looking to install electric car charging stations across the country, a move that’s expected to ease one of the limitations faced by Kenyan’s when deciding on importing an electric car. It will also present the power distribute with an opportunity to tap into what has been perceived as the future of the motor industry.
For along time, Kenyans have relied on vehicles powered with petrol and diesel, but the trend is changing, especially here in Nairobi, where we can now spot an electric car more often. Taxi companies such as Nopiaride utilizes the Nissan Leaf cars which run purely on batteries instead of fuel. Many Kenyans are also now important hybrid cars that can operate both on fossil fuel as well as batteries such as the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius and even some models of Honda Fit.
According to industry analysts, high prices of electric vehicles have also played a role in successful rollout but do acknowledge that favorable government policies seem to be changing that. Kenya has sort to reduce taxes on fully electric vehicles as away of boosting adoption within the country.
Speaking on the development, Kenya Power’s managing director said the firm was coming up with necessary infrastructure while building internal capacity to allow them support owners of electric vehicles across the country. Ngugi further said the parastatal was determined to build charging facilities across the country starting in Nairobi where there’s already a network of several electric vehicles in operation. These stations will be placed along highways, parking lots as well as in shopping malls.
Until recently, we only knew of KenGen which outlined plans to setup electric car charging systems in the country. If these ambitions are met, both Kenya Power and KenGen will be set to benefit from revenues generated from these points hoping that this technology picks up quickly than later. Most of the developed world is shifting away from fossil fuel as they look to stem carbon emissions with greener energy.
Electric car companies such as Tesla have also gained recognition in recent past and even went further to setting up charging stations in countries that they are present. In Africa, insufficient infrastructure coupled with high prices have negatively affected adoption. The average price of an electric car is Sh6 million, which compares to a second-hand SUV imported into Kenya.
Things are however changing with favorable government policies such as a reduction in excise duty on the cars from 20 per cent to 10 per cent.