As part of efforts to switch to clean energy, Kenya has introduced the first-ever all-electric bus designed in Africa, with the first model set to be launched commercially this year.
According to the developers of the bus, Opibus, a Swedish-Kenyan technology company, the maintenance cost for the bus is 80 percent less compared to conventional diesel buses.
“This bus will be significantly lower cost than importing fully built electric buses. However, it also has superior performance compared to its diesel counterpart. With the installation of a powerful motor, the bus has maximum torque which improves performance while enabling the driver to accelerate more responsively. Additionally, since the electric bus does not have a combustion engine or manual gearboxes, there are no oil or filters or gaskets that need to be changed,” Opibus said.
Opibus indicated that the total operating cost of the bus was 50 percent lower compared to that of conventional buses, which are susceptible to the ever-increasing diesel prices.
The bus company also reported that the deployment of the electric buses would initially be confined in peri-urban areas around Nairobi Metropolitan, paired with a business model that enables operators to save from day one and that plans were afoot to set up charging points which encompasses a mix of AC (slow) and DC (fast) chargers will be installed.
With fast chargers, Opibus indicated that the electric buses would be fully charged within an hour enabling seamless operations.
Africa is currently making strides to adopt clean energy in its endeavors to increase production and lower production costs in the manufacturing sector as well as to combat climate change.