Demand for electric cars rises amid high cost of fuel

Smart electric car charging at a power station [Courtesy]

As the country continues to record high prices of fuel, demand for electric vehicles is on the rise, with projections that the numbers could double by the end of the year.

Stakeholders say electric cars is the way to go in the wake of an acute shortage of fuel coupled by the rising cost of oil globally. Manufacturers of electric cars announced plans to expand their services from Nairobi, which has largely benefited from the new mode of transport.

Bolt Regional Manager for East Africa Micah Kenneth said the firm was keen to expand its services to other counties.

He said Kenya has around 100 electric cars, all within Nairobi, adding that in total they had done over one million trips since last year. “We project that the number of electric cars will double in one year and rise by five times in the next five years as more people are keen on this technology,” he said.

Speaking in Naivasha during an electric vehicles expo, Mr Kenneth said the cost of running the vehicles was 40 per cent lower compared to the ones using petrol and diesel. “Currently the biggest challenge is charging stations, as nearly all of them are in Nairobi. But this is being addressed,” he said.

Ms Bertha Mvati, the managing director of Vaell leasing company, said: “There is the fear of the unknown, hence the need for more awareness, and the manufacturers of the cars are planning to move out of Nairobi to other major towns."

Zino Motors Chief Executive Michael Spencer announced the introduction of electric motorcycle in Kenya. He said they were still monitoring the market and engaging with customers. “As part of our package we shall introduce the electric motorcycles and their charging stations so as to meet consumer demand,” he said. 

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