Kenyan startup BasiGo, an electric vehicle technology and financing company working to bring electric bus services to Sub-Saharan Africa, has launched operations in Nairobi having secured KES100 million (US$900,000) in funding earlier this year.
BasiGo provides state-of-the-art electric buses along with charging and maintenance services for bus operators, making these vehicles affordable through a financing model that allows operators to pay for the battery and charging separately from the bus through a pay-as-you-go financing arrangement.
The startup has already raised KES 100 million (US$900,000) in funding and the company’s first electric buses will be arriving in Kenya later this year, at which point the company will begin pilot testing with Nairobi-based bus operators. The company is sourcing buses from BYD Automotive, the largest manufacturer of electric buses globally, and plans to locally assemble buses in Kenya.
“For years, diesel-powered buses have been the only viable solution for bus operators in Kenya. We are excited to provide public transport operators with a new option: state-of-the-art electric buses that are more affordable, more reliable, and reduce bus operator exposure to the rising cost of diesel fuel,” said Jit Bhattacharya, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder at BasiGo.
“The cost of electric bus technology has come down dramatically over the last 10 years, to the point where electric buses can offer significant savings compared to fossil-fuel buses. Our goal is to help bus owners in Kenya realise these savings, and in the process, help Kenya become a global leader in sustainable public transport.
BasiGo is looking to eventually launch its services in other East African countries. The startup will offer buses with 25 and 36 seat capacities and a targeted range of over 250 kilometres, allowing transport providers to complete a full day’s operations before returning to a BasiGo charging depot at night for recharging and maintenance.