Swedish-Kenyan company, Opibus, has introduced the first African-designed and manufactured electric bus in Kenya with the aim of bringing clean energy to public transport. Kenya’s first company to make electric motorcycles, OPBus, plans to commercially launch the bus in a few months and bring it to markets across Africa by 2023.
Benjamin Mana is driving a unique bus as other vehicles shove through space, blowing clouds of black smoke across the streets of Nairobi; Which is completely electric.
Maina said, “I’ve had the privilege of driving this vehicle. It’s pretty amazing when you’re driving this vehicle compared to fossil fuel vehicles, considering that fossil fuel vehicles tend to have a lot of vibration and a lot of noise.” But with this vehicle, it’s quite quiet and very smooth.”
Public transport in Kenya and across the African continent is largely run informally, and emissions standards are rarely enforced, leaving vehicles highly polluted, according to Jane, a sustainable mobility expert at the United Nations Environment Programme. Akumu explains.
“If you look at the cities, the heavy vehicles, which are buses and trucks, are a big part of the pollution,” Akumu said. “So, they are a big contributor to pollution. But as I said, they are also an opportunity. Because how do we shift to a cleaner mode? Because we need mass transportation to make cities more sustainable. “
The introduction of electric buses in the African market by Opibus aims to rectify the situation. Albin Wilson is Head of Strategy and Marketing at Opibus.
“This electric bus is really an important first step in the transition from (a) fossil fuel vehicles to electric clean mobility,” Wilson said. locally developed. ,
Christopher Maina is a resident of Nairobi. The VOA asked him about his experience as a passenger on an electric bus.
“Today’s ride is one in itself, riding on an electric vehicle,” Maina said. “It’s great, no noise like a combustion engine, no smell like a combustion engine. So, it’s great and luxurious to be in this vehicle.”
Experts say that Africa’s electric car market, currently in its infancy, presents a huge opportunity for investment and creation of green jobs. Here is Zen Akumu again.
“When you look at our source of electricity, it’s renewable,” Akumu said. “For example, in Ethiopia it’s almost 100% renewable energy: hydro and such. If you look at Kenya it’s over 90%. So, we have energy. We don’t have to import fossil fuels; petrol, Diesel and all that. So, we have energy here, so it’s a great opportunity for jobs, green jobs too.”
Benjamin Maina noted another advantage of his electric bus – low maintenance and fuel costs. This means more money in his pocket, and a higher standard of living.