African countries are progressing in technological development in a big way. Kenya has just launched its first 100% Made in Kenya electric bus. This technological jewel developed by Opibus is a real development opportunity for Kenya and the whole Africa.
With a range of 120 km and about 50 seats, this first electric bus launched on January 18, 2022, was manufactured in Kenya by Opibus, a company with Swedish and Kenyan capital. Founded in 2017, this green mobility company develops eco-friendly bus models for simple, efficient and sustainable public transportation.
The advantages of this technological advance
Indeed, the Kenyan electric bus has the primary objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. For some, it is a great progress in the reduction of polluting elements. Through this innovation, Kenya is setting the tone for a moderately polluted Africa in the years to come. Moreover, this bus is a great solution for the eradication of the sale of adulterated gasoline which is causing enormous damage throughout the continent. According to the first passengers, the electric bus does not make any scraping noise or smoke. When you get on it, it is so stable that there is no vibration like in ordinary buses. Moreover, on the driver’s side, we are quite convinced and focused. Because you are not exposed to the vibrations and noise that are synonymous with diesel engines, especially with large machines like this.
Electricity for a sustainable Africa
For Opibus,“This is the first major step in the company’s vision to provide a locally designed and developed electric bus, which can be produced in series for the pan-African market, by the end of 2023. This bus will cost significantly less than importing fully built electric buses (…) It is a model that allows a reduction of 80% in maintenance expenses compared to a diesel bus.” said Opibus on its Twitter page in a January 19 release. Even if its cost remains higher than the ordinary vehicles (45000 dollars against 30000 dollars), it is clear that it is a blessing of economic development and preservation of the ozone layer. Apart from the numerous advantages related to technical and motor maintenance, the electric bus is one of the solutions to go against global warming.
In the words of Timothy Musembi, one of the drivers, as reported in the local media, “If you get 1,500 Kenyan shillings, take 1,000 for fuel, and on a trip you will have 500 left over… But this electric vehicle will be more profitable because it will cost 200 Kenyan shillings to charge, which even for an off-peak trip at 50 Kenyan shillings, will give you at least 1,000 profit per trip. Thus, it will be preferable that the Africans advise these kinds of means for a less hot and less polluted Africa.