Kenya is experiencing a remarkable surge in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and motorcycles. According to data from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), the number of electric units, including motorcycles, skyrocketed by 729 units between February and June of this year, signaling a significant shift towards cleaner and more sustainable mobility.
As of June 2023, Kenya boasts a total of 2,079 electric vehicles, a substantial increase from the 1,350 units recorded in February. The EPRA envisions that these eco-friendly vehicles will constitute five percent of the total registered vehicles by 2025, underscoring the nation’s commitment to decarbonize the transport sector and combat climate change.
Motorcycles lead the charge in this green revolution, comprising 72.1 percent of the electric units, followed by 181 station wagons at 8.7 percent and 176 tuk-tuks at 8.4 percent. The data also reveals the presence of 20 electric buses navigating Kenyan roads, a promising sign for the future of public transportation.
Behind this surge are entities like BasiGo, a pioneering electric mobility startup, and Roam, a Swedish-owned venture, both contributing to reshaping public transport with a commitment to sustainability. Ride-booking giants like Uber and Bolt have also joined the movement, increasingly incorporating electric vehicles into their fleets due to lower operational costs compared to traditional fossil fuel vehicles.
The economic advantages of electric mobility are underscored by simulations conducted by the EPRA. An electric car covering 240 kilometers requires 36 kilowatt-hours (kWh) at a cost of Sh1,418.51, significantly undercutting the Sh3,069.36 spent by a super petrol unit covering the same distance. Similarly, an electric bus proves more economical, using 115 kWh for a 260-kilometer trip at a cost of Sh4,440 compared to the Sh13,064 spent by a diesel-powered counterpart.
To support this green transition, public charging stations for EVs will be strategically located every 25 kilometers along highways, as outlined in guidelines published by the EPRA. This infrastructure development aims to address concerns about charging accessibility and further incentivize the adoption of electric vehicles.
Beyond the environmental benefits, the growing popularity of EVs presents a lucrative opportunity for Kenya Power, anticipating a boost in electricity sales. The demand for clean mobility is projected to elevate Kenya’s annual electricity consumption by 5.155 gigawatt-hours (GWh), reflecting a symbiotic relationship between sustainable transport and the power sector.