Embassava Sacco goes green with new fleet of electric buses
Embassava Sacco, which is one of the leading passenger transport service providers in Nairobi, has taken a major step in embracing climate-friendly energy.
The sacco has launched four electric busses, each with 26-seater K6 and will be operating along the Jogoo Road, and Mombasa Road routes.
The e-buses were delivered by BasiGo, an e-mobility company, bringing the future of clean, electric public transport to sub-Saharan Africa.
Speaking during the launch of the buses at the sacco’s terminus in Nairobi CBD, Embassava Sacco chairman Benson Wanyoike said they have already ordered for more e-buses which will be delivered soon.
“This is a tremendous milestone we have taken as a sacco, and our aim is to be able to service our clients better,” Mr Wanyoike said.
Embassava Sacco now becomes the latest sacco to go green in Nairobi after Super Metro, OMA sacco and Metrotrans.
BasiGo CEO Jit Bhattacharya said the sacco will benefit collectively rather than as individuals from the newly acquired fleets.
“With these buses, we are also helping Embassava Sacco provide cashless payment options to their passengers,” Mr Bhattacharya said.
Mr Bhattacharya added that the company is committed to collaborate with PSV operators to implement technology that will improve everyone’s access to cleaner, greener and convenient public transportation.
The company said more than 20 staff have been trained on customer etiquette, safety and emergency response, eco driving and cashless payment management.
Director of Road and Rail Transport Services Mr Martin Eshiwani lauded Embassava Sacco for the new initiative.
Mr Eshiwani said the government fully supports electric mobility and is promoting it as a way of addressing climate change.
“We all know that vehicle motion contribute to poor air quality and negative effects of climate change,” he said.
According to BasiGo’s Chief Revenue Officer, Mr Moses Nderitu, the company plans to assemble the buses in the country due to the high demand.
“We have partnered with a vehicle manufacturer to make them more available because importing them is expensive. If we assemble them locally, we will be able to provide more buses to more operators more quickly,” said Mr Nderitu, while disclosing that each bus costs Sh5 million.
“You purchase a vehicle at Sh5 million plus VAT, and then you pay what we call pay as you try subscription which covers all your battery charging and all the maintenance of the vehicle.”
Among the sacco drivers who will be operating the electric buses is Victoria Kaloki, the first woman to drive an electric passenger bus in the country.
Ms Kaloki could not hide her excitement and said after many years in the industry, she will continue to offer her services to passengers.
She said the electric bus is just like any other bus, but has a few complicated issues that were addressed during the training.
“This bus has bigger side mirrors and the front tyres are behind the door, so you have to stop first for a passenger to get on board,” she said.
The launch was attended by key stakeholders in the transport industry, including Deputy OCPD Central Division Johnson Lemuna.
Some of the passengers who were the first to board the electric buses urged the government to consider introducing more of such buses.