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Three Kenyan electric car makers net Sh4 billion after Ruto’s US visit

Kenya’s electric vehicle (EV) sector received a substantial boost this week following a series of announcements from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

The DFC has injected $20 million (Sh4 billion) in direct loans to three key players in Kenya’s electric mobility industry, with the aim of accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and expanding infrastructure development.

BasiGo, a major Kenyan e-mobility company, is one of the main beneficiaries and secured a loan of $10 million (about Sh1.33 billion).

This financing is intended for the acquisition of electric buses and batteries, essential components for its electric mobility projects.

The company has been at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution in Kenya and this financial injection is expected to enhance its ability to deliver more electric buses to the country’s public transport system.

Similarly, Roam, another major player in the electric mobility sector, received a loan of $10 million (about Sh1.33 billion).

Roam’s focus is on the design and development of electric motorcycles and buses, along with the establishment of charging stations throughout Kenya.

This initiative is set to support the country’s shift towards sustainable and green transportation solutions, particularly in urban areas where pollution from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is a growing concern.

Mogo Auto Kenya, a finance company specializing in car loans, is the third beneficiary of the DFC financing initiative.

Mogo has been granted a $10 million (about Sh1.33 billion) loan to expand access to affordable car loans, motorcycle taxi financing and log book loans.

This move is expected to make electric vehicles more accessible to a broader segment of Kenya’s population, promoting the adoption of greener transportation options.

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen drives a bus at Liter Girls Secondary School.

Photo

Ministry of Transportation

In addition to these significant financial commitments, the US State Department has pledged $100,000 (about Sh13.25 million) in technical assistance to support Kenya’s transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEV).

This support will focus on policy development and implementation, capacity building, peer-to-peer learning initiatives and workforce development programs, further strengthening the country’s electric mobility framework.

Additionally, the United States and Kenya have jointly committed to improving Nairobi’s transportation infrastructure with a $60 million (about Sh8 billion) grant aimed at improving mobility and promoting green public transportation.

This four-year project will prioritize safe options for pedestrians and the development of sustainable public transport systems, making Nairobi a greener and more mobile city.

“With this week’s announcements, DFC is doubling down on its commitments to Kenya’s development, with investments in energy, electric mobility and infrastructure.

“DFC is also expanding its field presence by opening an office to help us better leverage opportunities across the region,” said Scott Nathan, CEO of DFC.

As of December 2023, the number of electric vehicles registered in Kenya stood at 3,753, a figure attributed to various incentives introduced by the government to promote electric mobility.

Analysts and industry experts predict that by 2040, electric vehicles will account for more than 50 percent of automobile sales in the country.

Additionally, electric vehicles are expected to reach price parity with ICE vehicles between 2025 and 2030, making them a more viable option for many consumers.

An image of the electric motorcycle and electric bus manufactured by Kenyan company Roam.

Wander

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