Jit Bhattacharya and Trade CS Rebecca Miano during the launch of the electric bus assembly line. [Gitau Wanyoike, Standard]

Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) has launched the first large-scale electric bus assembly line at its plant in Thika.

Speaking at the launch on Tuesday, Investments, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano highlighted the government’s commitment to address climate change and reduction of greenhouse gases.

“The transport sector is a significant contributor to carbon emissions and transitioning to electric vehicles presents a sustainable solution to mitigate environmental degradation and address the negative effects of climate change,” she said.

Further emphasising support for the public transport sector’s gradual transition to electric vehicles (EVs), the CS said the government is committed to creating a conducive investment climate by streamlining regulations and setting up strategic incentives.

KVM targets to locally assemble 1,000 buses over three years and create 300 green manufacturing jobs.

Miano flagged off the first two E9 Kubwa buses, which will be operated by Citi Hoppa and Super Metro matatu Saccos. The two carriers are currently converting their fleet to electric buses.

“The transition to clean, electric buses represents more than just impact on the environment. It is an opportunity for Kenya to establish itself as a manufacturing hub for modern electric vehicles (EVs) as well as the components that make up those vehicles. We are proud to support Kenya in taking the lead by inaugurating this assembly line in partnership with KVM” said BasiGo CEO and Co-founder Jit Bhattacharya.

BasiGo, touted for its innovative “Pay-As-You-Drive” financial model, first launched electric buses in the country in 2022.

The e-mobility company in March 2024 received $3 Million (Sh396.3 million) in split equity funding from CFAO Group and Mobility54 (CFAO’s venture capital arm) to ramp up the manufacture and delivery of electric buses in Kenya and Rwanda.

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