KenGen rolls out electric vehicles

The electric vehicles belonging to KenGen include two SUVs and two double-cabin pickups.

Power producer KenGen has unveiled four Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Nairobi as the company seeks to transition its fleet to battery-powered motor vehicles to cut emissions.

The four vehicles, which include two SUVs and two double-cabin pickups, will primarily be used for data collection and policy development.

The company will use the cost and environmental data from the four EVs to transition its fleet to EVs. 

The electric vehicles belonging to KenGen include two SUVs and two double-cabin. pickups.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm has two EV charging stations in Nairobi and Naivasha and plans to roll out about 30 EV charging stations in major cities across the country.

The two charging stations are not open to the public as they are being utilized for internal piloting and data collection before the commencement of commercial rollout.

The venture is part of KenGen’s environmental and economic sustainability plan to reduce global GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions by inspiring confidence for wider EV adoption across the country.

Speaking during the launch, KenGen Acting Managing Director, Abraham Serem, noted that the pilot EV units would give them a comprehensive analysis of the feasibility of e-vehicles transition while also providing insights on initial technology choices for electric charging infrastructure in the country.

“I am glad to announce that in the next one year, we plan to roll out about 30 EV charging stations in major cities across the country. The four acquired EVs we are launching today will give the company first-hand experience and data on electric vehicles,” he said, adding that this is an endeavor they seek to conduct collectively with other stakeholders.

"The development of e-mobility is an area that will require a multi-sectoral approach. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and working together with key partners, we have no doubt that this transition will pick up pace faster than envisaged," said Mr Serem.

He added that the rollout will be used to develop a blueprint for the conversion of the company's fleet from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to electric vehicles as well as advice broader strategies on similar trends in the market by other players.

This will also enable the company to save on fuel and maintenance.

“The EV revolution is here with us. Countries around the world are racing to phase out gasoline and petrol cars. France, England, Norway, India, China, USA, and the Netherlands are leading with either a goal to stop the sale of internal combustion engines by 2050 or have significant EV sales,” said Mr Serem.

KenGen’s move follows that of Kenya Power, which in September rolled out a pilot e-mobility network infrastructure system (Enis) in Nairobi and Nakuru for six months to check its feasibility.

Kenya Power is also seeking a special tariff for electric vehicle charging in a move aimed at accelerating the uptake of EV’s in the country to increase its electricity sales.

The company recently said it has submitted a special tariff application to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) to allow it offer different rates for their customers for charging EVs.

Should the regulator grant Kenya Power the tariff, the company will be able to sell electricity to customers who want to charge their EVs at a different cost compared to the normal electricity prices.

Kenya would join a growing number of countries, mostly developed countries that have rolled out the preferential tariffs to boost the uptake of EVs to cut emissions.

Such tariffs offer customers preferential rates to charge their vehicles during specific times of the day especially at night when power consumption is low.

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