Driving the Electric Vehicle Revolution in Kenya
Strathmore Energy Research Centre, in partnership with Arc Ride Global ltd, Fika Mobility, Energy 4 Impact, and Imperial College London assisted by AEMDA, held the first Technical Working Group workshop for the Charge Up! project on 20th April 2022. In attendance were key partners from the government and the private sector with representatives from: Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), Kenya Power, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing, Urban Development, and Public Works, Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA), and, the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development, and Basigo, among others. This project aims to drive the electric vehicle revolution in Kenya by creating a charging and battery swap stations master plan in Nairobi city to be replicated in other towns within the country and abroad.
The commercial partners, Arc Ride Global ltd and Fika Mobility will be responsible for rolling out over 300 electric vehicles (two-wheelers and three-wheelers) and 45 charge stations. Strathmore Energy Research Centre and Imperial College London will be the research partners providing a variety of data points from the electric vehicles to create a master plan for battery swapping stations in Nairobi. The Energy 4 Impact will develop a value proposition for potential business partners while providing administrative support.
The supply of electricity in Kenya
The Director in charge of Transport and e-mobility, Eng. David Mugambi assured the different partners that Kenya Power is ready to support electric mobility in Kenya. The company was well able to supply the electricity required to charge EVs in the country. It was, however, pointed out that it would be important to determine where the load points/areas were planned to enable the company effectively supply electricity as needed. Further, he also stated that Kenya Power is incorporating electric mobility in their energy plan to grow the generation and distribution capacity and together with other partners, deliver reliable and efficient electricity for the sector.
Stima Boda Co-Founder, Jason Grass, shared his views on tariff allocation during the panel discussion. “We would need to build trust and confidence with the government, customers, and investors by incentivizing these different groups to switch from fossil fuels to electricity through tariff allocation,” he said. An investor would need to think of the cost versus benefit of installing a large-scale battery-swapping station in Nairobi while electricity providers would need access to smart meters to ensure that the electricity is for powering e-mobility. The consumer on the other hand needs to trust that electric two, three, and four-wheelers are safe to use and that there are enough charging stations for them to make the switch.
The first Technical Working Group workshop ended with perhaps more questions than answers but what was agreed on by all is that we need to educate key decision-makers; the government, the investors, and most importantly the consumer on the value proposition of electric mobility in Kenya. At the end of a series of workshops planned for 2022, policy recommendations will be drafted to facilitate mass electric vehicle charging infrastructure roll-out in Nairobi. The next workshop will be held in July 2022.
This project is funded by P4G and is led by Mr. Patrick Mwanzia.