Metrotrans Ltd, one of Nairobi’s leading public transport operators, has announced the introduction of 5 electric buses as part of its fleet. Metrotrans is a Nairobi-based Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (Sacco), whose fleet plies Nairobi routes with an aim to promote efficient and sustainable public transportation systems. In Kenya, a lot of Sacco members leverage their members’ contributions to invest in business ventures such as the operation of public service vehicles like mini buses. Mini buses are popularly known as Matatus in Kenya.
The 26-passenger BYD K6 electric buses were supplied by Kenyan electric mobility startup BasiGo. The buses started operating yesterday, and will service the Utawala, Community-Upperhill, and Kiambu routes.
Metrotrans East Africa Limited chairperson John Methu, speaking on the delivery, said, “That’s the only way to go since the world is changing due to climate change and pollution issues, Metrotrans will not be left behind when other people like BasiGo are busy changing Nairobi to be a better place to do business, not forgetting that Metrotrans is one of the big investors in the city with a huge investment in public transports, that’s why we want to be in electric buses.”
Jit Bhattacharya, CEO of BasiGo, said while commenting during the handover of the electric buses, “Kenya has a vibrant public transport system that provides a vital service to millions of people each day. Today, we are proud to deliver these five electric buses to Metrotrans, making them the largest operator of electric PSVs in the city. BasiGo is excited to support Metrotrans in bringing cashless payment options to their electric bus passengers. We are committed to working with PSV Operators to introduce technologies that make public transport in Kenya cleaner, greener, and more convenient for everyone.”
BasiGo’s electric buses have driven over 244,536 kilometers and carried over 291,000 passengers as part of fleet operations with 4 Nairobi bus operators since launching in Kenya in March 2022. With the addition of Metrotrans, BasiGo’s electric buses are now operating with five Nairobi bus operators on routes from Kikuyu to Kitengela to Civil Servants and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
BasiGo plans to supply over 1,000 locally manufactured mass transit electric buses to transport operators in Kenya over the next three years. Looking at the past three years, an average of 938 Matatus were registered in Kenya per year, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2023 Economic Survey. Assuming BasiGo’s plan of supplying 1,000 electric Matatus within the next three years is evenly spread out and the number of Matatus registered per year remains in the same range as observed from 2020 to 2022, it would mean that 35.5% of Matatus registered each year will be electric! This will be a major milestone along the country’s transition to electric mobility. It also shows how quickly things can move in this sector, and by 2030, all new registrations of Matatus could very well be electric.
BasiGo’s innovative Pay-As-You-Drive model can be a major catalyst for this transition. The program allows owners to purchase the BYD K6 electric bus without having to pay upfront for the expensive battery technology. This makes the upfront cost similar to that of a traditional diesel bus.
BasiGo’s Pay-As-You-Drive battery subscription service covers everything related to the battery, including charging, warranty, service, and maintenance. Operators are charged daily based on kilometers driven, and operators make payments directly to BasiGo. In return, the operator has complete peace of mind in owning an electric bus throughout its life.
The benefits of the Pay-As-You-Drive model include:
- A simple daily fee based on kilometers driven
- Digital billing & payments directly between operator & BasiGo
- Subscription 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
Images courtesy of BasiGo
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