Kenya Mpya To Debut Country's First Electric Matatu
Electric cars have significant advantages over their counterparts that rely on oil as a mode of fuel to drive their engines for movement.
Kenya Mpya Bus Company, one of Nairobi’s biggest matatu operators, is set to make history as it prepares to rollout the first ever electric Public Service Vehicles (PSV) in the country.
Brian Chege, whose company Meta Electric was recruited by Kenya Mpya to work out the masterplan, revealed that the test targeted users of Thika Road.
While appearing on African Travelor, Chege disclosed that if successful, the company would scrap off its long-standing diesel buses with one-of-a-kind electric vehicles.
An electric car being charged in Kenya. /FILE
"The first client we have signed so far is Kenya Mpya which is, I think, the biggest bus company in Nairobi. They are testing out electric vehicles along their Thika-Nairobi route with the hope that in future they will replace even their buses.
"At the moment, we have provided vans in the market but we are also in the process of bringing buses and mini-vans," he explained.
He further explained that his company, Meta Electric had gained knowledge in the electric technology and for now, it only works with businesses in a B2B model.
"The thing about this business is that you need to identify what your clients need first and then provide the solutions in terms of vehicles. We are not limited in terms of the vehicles.
"Once we identify the client, we provide the charging infrastructure around the operation. We will map out the deliver routes and identify where exactly you need to have the chargers set up," he added.
Chege further estimated that electric vehicles had the ability to reduce the cost of fuel by up to 80%. However, purchasing one electric vehicle alone is 50% more expensive than their counterparts.
According to Car and Driver Magazine, electric cars have significant advantages over their counterparts that rely on oil as a mode of fuel to drive their engines for movement.
The cars are better for environment, electricity is renewable, require less maintenance and are quieter during travel.
Most of its disadvantages, however, revolve around cost and it is estimated that the charging process takes time while travel distance is shorter as compared to gas counterparts.
It is estimated that Kenya has less than 200 electric cars and it might take longer for the mode of transport to be fully realised.
So far, Kenya Power has opened three charging stations in Nairobi and will embark on a nationwide project, installing other charging points along major highways, parking lots and shopping malls.
The three charging stations in Nairobi are located at the Two Rivers Mall, the Hub Karen and at the Thika Road Mall.
Aerial view of Roasters roundabout along Thika Road, with a Kenya Mpya matatu in the foreground. /MARVINCHEGE.VIRALTEA