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Kenya is making huge strides in switching to electric vehicles

Kenya is making huge strides in switching to electric vehicles
  • Kenya Power has announced plans to convert 2,000 of its gasoline- and diesel-powered cars and trucks to electric power.
  • Algeria and some East African nations are following similar initiatives. 
  • Kenya has an installed generation capacity of 3,321 megawatts (MW). 

Over the next four years, Kenya Power (KPLC.NR), the country's sole power supplier, plans to convert 2,000 of its gasoline- and diesel-powered cars and trucks to electric power.

The decision is part of a growing trend in the East African economy to use plentiful renewable energy sources for power and convert motorbike and car engines from fossil fuels to electricity.

It also is an idea we’ve seen implemented in Algeria. In November 2022, the Algerian administration announced plans to ban diesel-powered cars. The goal is to reduce its carbon emissions and adopt a cleaner energy source. Read the story here. A few weeks back, the country also announced plans to reduce its usage of fossil fuels, despite being the continent’s fourth-largest oil producer.

Kenya is now the latest African country to veer towards eco-friendly initiatives. Kenya Power will gradually replace its gasoline and diesel vehicles with new models and retrofitted electric engines.

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According to Kenya Power, Kenya has an installed generation capacity of 3,321 megawatts (MW), versus peak demand of 2,132 MW and off-peak demand of roughly 1,100 MW.

"Charging electric vehicles especially at night would, therefore, help bridge the gap between off-peak load available generation capacity as well as raise the average demand to above 1,500 MW," Kenya Power said in a statement.

At the beginning of the month, it was reported that in Nairobi, there was an increase in charging stations for electric vehicles.

As battery charging infrastructure is set up by electric mobility businesses, the vehicles are becoming more popular.

In May 2022, the e-mobility startup Ampersand launched operations in Kenya. There are about 60 customers and seven battery changing stations in the capital.

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Ian Mbote, Ampersand's expansion lead, says this form of transport is a money saver.

"Electric mobility is cheaper. You are saving 45 percent, less. To be exact, fuel right now is around 180 shillings per litre. Our batteries cost 185 shillings to swap a full battery. That gives you about 90 to 110 kilometres. That 180 shillings on fuel gives you about 30 to 40 kilometres on a motorcycle," he elaborated.

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