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The new face of matatus: Revolutionary funding to powers electric transport shift in Kenya

Kenyan bus operators can now embrace electric mobility without the weight of upfront costs, thanks to a substantial funding injection of Sh766.75 million from British International Investment (BII) to e-mobility firm BasiGo.

This financial boost enables BasiGo to acquire 100 electric buses, ushering in a new era of eco-friendly transportation.

As of February 2023, Kenya had just over 1,000 registered electric vehicles (EVs), according to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

The Climate Innovation Facility of BII is facilitating this transformative initiative, promoting climate-friendly innovation in emerging markets.

BasiGo introduces an innovative Pay-As-You-Drive financing model, allowing bus operators to transition to electric buses without a significant initial financial burden.

BII’s funding is pivotal in steering Kenya’s public transport from diesel to sustainable electric buses, with each BasiGo electric bus in Nairobi reducing over 50 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

In alignment with the new Africa Green Industrialisation Initiative launched at COP28, BII’s investment in BasiGo supports the development of sustainable industries that generate employment, cut emissions, and enhance biodiversity.

Jonathan Green, Co-founder and CFO of BasiGo, expressed gratitude for the support, emphasizing the potential of electric buses to transform public transport in Kenya. “We are thrilled to receive this catalytic financial support from BII. It is a testament to our shared commitment towards building scalable climate solutions here within Africa,” Mr Green noted.

Chris Chijiutomi, Managing Director at BII, highlighted the excitement of partnering with BasiGo, a leader in revolutionizing public transport in Kenya. BasiGo, established in 2021, has already deployed 19 electric buses in Nairobi, representing the largest fleet in sub-Saharan Africa.

The BII facility is groundbreaking, supporting the electrification of the informal public transport sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. These electric buses, financed by BII, will be locally assembled in Kenya, establishing a green manufacturing hub for modern electric vehicles.

BasiGo’s commitment to sustainability is evident, with the first batch of locally assembled electric buses underway at Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers. The company has received over 350 deposits from Nairobi bus operators, aiming to deploy 1,000 locally assembled electric buses in East Africa over the next three years.