Kenya Power has announced plans to phase out fossil fuel powered vehicles and motorbikes from its fleet, in favour of electric-powered ones, as it moves to adopt sustainable ways of doing business.
To this end, the public listed firm has set aside KES40 million in the current financial year to purchase three electric vehicles (two pickups and one four-wheel drive) on a pilot basis. These funds will also be utilised to construct three electric vehicle-charging stations within Nairobi, both for the firm’s use and demonstration purposes.
“Kenya Power intends to substantially reduce its carbon footprint by purchasing more e-vehicles in the near future, including two-wheelers and three-wheelers. We must play our rightful role to combat global warming by championing mitigation measures such as adoption of electric motorisation,” said Kenya Power’s Ag. Managing Director, Eng. Geoffrey Muli.
Kenya Power is the country’s only electricity off taker that transmits, distributes, and retails power to customers. Speaking at the Swedish Embassy during the launch of electric motorbikes by Roam Motors, Eng. Muli added that in the medium term, it will also purchase 50 long-range electric bikes as part of its plan to phase out fuel-powered motorbikes within its fleet.
“With an installed electricity capacity of 3077 MW and an off-peak load of 1100 MW, Kenya has enough power to support the entire e-mobility ecosystem,” he added.
Kenya Power recently finished piloting 13 electric bikes in conjunction with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which were being used by meter readers and revenue collection team. The major impediments have been reliable battery storage and lack of after sales service.
But with companies now assembling long range e-motorbikes in the country and offering aftersales service, Kenya Power is excited about the future of e-mobility and ready to fully embrace electricity powered motorbikes.
The e-mobility industry is taking shape within the country with more than 1,000 electric vehicles currently on the roads. Being a key player in the electricity value chain, Kenya Power intends to play an active role in driving the uptake of electric vehicles.
The firm has already invited bids for the construction of an e-mobility network infrastructure system (ENIS) to pilot the charging stations. The infrastructure will also allow customers to pay via M-PESA and credit cards.
Additionally, Kenya Power has also established a liaison office, which acts as our one-stop shop to champion the e-mobility business. Through this office, it is working with other stakeholders to support the development of the e-mobility eco-system, which includes the identification of sites for potential charging stations, facilitate connectivity and test e-vehicles for potential investors.
In the period between 1922 to date, Kenya Power has extended its transmission and distribution network across the country, covering a total of 248,834 kilometres. As at June 2021, the firm had over 8.5 million accounts and had enabled 75% of the country’s population to access the national grid, making Kenya rank top in the world in terms of connectivity pace according to the World Bank’s ‘Energy Progress Report’ for 2021.