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Kenya’s Basigo Celebrates 6 Months Of Passenger Journeys For Its BYD K6 Electric Buses

BasiGo is a Kenyan electric mobility startup working to revolutionize the public transportation sector by providing public transport bus owners with a cost-effective electric alternative to diesel buses. It’s been a great 6 months for BasiGo. BasiGo was recently selected as one of the winners of the 2022 Keeling Curve Prize (KCP). The prize is a program of the Global Warming Mitigation Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is identifying, activating, and accelerating projects and programs worldwide that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon uptake.

BasiGo has also been running a pilot program for the past 6 months in Nairobi with its innovative Pay-as-You-Drive program that allows owners to purchase the BYD K6 electric bus without having to pay for the battery technology. The cost of the battery is then bundled into a subscription program. This makes the upfront cost of the K6 bus similar to a traditional diesel bus in the same class.

Here is a summary of BasiGo’s Pay-As-You-Drive:

  • A single daily subscription fee charged per km driven
  • Billed and paid directly between the operator and BasiGo
  • Includes nightly charging of the battery
  • Includes all standard service and maintenance for the bus
  • Free battery replacement in the event of any battery issue.
  • Includes dedicated customer care, roadside assistance, free software upgrades, and more

Operators can buy the K6 bus for about KSh 5 million and then pay KSh20 per km on the pay-as-you-drive model for battery and associated services.

Today, BasiGo gave an update on the progress made so far over the past 6 months since it launched the first ever electric buses into passenger operation in Nairobi with its partners, Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle.

In just 6 months, the buses have:

  • Driven over 90,000 km
  • Safely carried over 112,000 passengers
  • Avoided over 17,000 liters of diesel combustion
  • Charged over 400 times from Kenya’s 90% renewable electricity
  • Mitigated 42 tonnes of CO2e
  • Demonstrated over 98% uptime

These numbers were from the 2 K6 buses that are currently part of the pilot. Recently someone noted that the money Kenya spent on fossil fuel subsidies over the last couple of years could have been used for more long term solutions such as purchasing 28,000 electric mini buses. The electric BYD K6 minibus, which has seating capacity of around 20 or so passengers, is a candidate to slot in perfectly into Kenya’s Matatu ecosystem where 14- to 35-seater minibuses play a major role in providing transport services for urban commutes in Kenya. The progress BasiGo has made over the past 6 months with just two K6 buses shows just how much can be done in this space. Now imagine how transformational having 28,000 of these buses would be.

 

Image courtesy of BasiGo

 
 
 
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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.

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