Local auto firm asks State to incentive costs in e-mobility

An electric Tuktuk. [Car and General]

In the race to offer electric (e-mobility) and green energy solutions, Car and General (C&G) has introduced electric three-wheelers (e-Tuktuks) to the Kenyan market.

The uptake of the electric three-wheelers is projected to cut down emissions - reducing the impact of climate change.

While unveiling the e-Tuktuks in Nairobi, yesterday, which doubled up as a celebration to mark the firm’s 20-year partnership with Piaggio, it was noted that the three-wheelers were designed to ensure optimum value for customers through better range, grade ability, and load-carrying capacity.

The new Piaggio Ape e-Tuktuks come in two versions, Ape E-City FX Max for the passenger segment and Ape E-Xtra FX Max for the cargo segment.

Speaking at the event in Nairobi, C&G Managing Director David Chesoni, said the new models are affordable in maintenance.

They cost between Sh1 million to 1.3 million and are locally sourced. Chesoni says this is part of their mandate to align with the government‘s effort for job creation. “As a company, we are committed to localising and creating opportunities for young people. This product has been assembled in Mombasa and Thika,” Chesoni said.

In-built battery

The company has been able to assemble between 10 to 15 units in a day.

The dealer projects to sell about 400 units of the three-wheelers in its first year.

For the cargo three-wheeler, it has a capacity of half a tonne. The “estimated pricing for it is between Sh1 million to Sh1.3 million.

The unit cost is slightly higher. He said the most expensive part is the in-built battery. 

It was noted that the batteries used in the three-wheelers are useful even after their life span. “They are useful in terms of storing power for solar panels for another 10 years,” he said.

Mr Chesoni asked the State to look at how to incentivise more people to go into the e-mobility business. “There is more that can be done; like having different number plates so that one is not charged for cross-county movement. Waiving some of these costs will make it more desirable for people to own it,” said Chesoni.

Vice President at Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd Dhiraj Tripathi said the e-Tuktuk is an entrepreneur’s best bet to reap maximum benefits. C&G Group CEO Vijay Gidoomal said the FX Max range will maximise the earnings of its customers.

This Piaggio electric range has the passenger version which can go for 145 kilometres (km) on a single charge while the cargo one can do 115 km.