Kenya Power will from next month begin a six-month test of its electric vehicle (EV) system in Nairobi and Nakuru.
The pilot phase has been advertised as a proof of concept for the company’s proposed e-mobility system which comprises EV charging infrastructure, billing and payment system and service management.
“The proof-of-concept phase will give Kenya Power a hands-on experience, with touch and feel to evaluate the potential and complexity of E-Mobility ecosystem before a full-scale implementation is undertaken,” the utility company said in a notice inviting e-mobility partners on Tuesday.
The utility company is seeking to create a new revenue stream from charging electric vehicles. Kenya Power said, “In order to remain competitive in this first growing and changing energy market, Kenya Power intends to be an active player in the e-mobility value chain so that it can serve its customers, spur energy demand and substantially grow its revenue. However, widespread electric car adoption requires a robust widespread public electric car charging network system that currently does not exist.”
If the piloting phase is successful, Kenya Power stated it will embark on the implementation stage which is expected to take 18-24 with the company expanding the service to other major towns and counties.
However, there are concerns about the low uptake of electric vehicles in Africa due to factors such as lack of reliable power, high taxes on EV components, lack of supportive regulatory frameworks, and high electricity tariffs among others.
Kenya has an estimated 350 EVs, out of 2.2 million registered vehicles. According to Kenya Power’s estimates, it would cost around $21 to charge an electric minibus each day travels 200km, and consumes 120 kilowatts per hour (kWh).