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S.A. Electric car manufacturer sets up shop in Nairobi

By Lydia Mwawasi | November 3rd 2021
By Lydia Mwawasi | November 3rd 2021
Cable, not pipe: Charging an electric car. [File picture, Standard]


South Africa-based electric vehicles manufacturer, Agilitee Africa, has set up shop in Nairobi even as it seeks to expand to the East African market.

The firm's Chief Executive Officer Mandla Lamba on Tuesday said the company plans to invest Sh111.2 million in its Nairobi-based subsidiary - Agilitee East Africa.

“We will officially launch our operations in Kenya in early December this year. Currently, we are marketing our products and the response is very positive,” said Dr Lamba.

In a notice published this week, the firm said it has been granted a certificate to operate in Kenya. The Nairobi subsidiary offices will also be its headquarters for East African.

It has also set up a base in West Africa with its headquarters in Nigeria. In Zimbabwe, there are plans to establish an assembly plant for cars, electric motorcycles, and scooters.

“We intend to penetrate into all parts of Africa. We will in the long run set up assembly plants in some countries," said Lamba.

He added: “Most African governments have not entirely adopted the use of electric vehicles but we will educate our people on their benefits.”

Lamba said that even in South Africa, there were people who still do not believe it is impossible to drive a car without using petrol.

“We are optimistic that because the market is there. Kenya is one of the countries at the forefront in the campaign for clean energy and therein lies the market,” he said.

Agilite electric vehicles do not rely on the grid to be charged as they are powered by solar and have a backup battery.

Kenya is one of the biggest markets for second-hand vehicles imported mainly from Japan and which have been blamed for emitting higher levels of carbon dioxide.

Lamba said their technology can reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improve public health and reduce ecological damage.

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