Transporting commuters in Kenya is a challenging and competitive business operating costs have increased in recent years for LNG hikes and fuel prices.
The chaotic informal public transport sector also heavily relies on many buses known as Matatus to transport millions of commuters daily.
Many buses and matatus in the country use diesel which increases air pollution levels. That is why the few electric buses on the road have been warmly received by many bus operators and staff say the change was long overdue.
“We have to accept the times of change here. We cannot remain behind Africa has to embrace this change”, said one of the Matatu operators.
Daniel Mushai drives a diesel-powered Matatu minibus for over 10 years is driving similar vehicles along different routes in Kenya. He says switching to electric buses will be a smart and timely move.
“The cost of oil has really gone up so we better change. I prefer the electric buses to these conventional engines”, said Daniel Mushai.
For the operators keeping an electric bus on the road is cheaper. It also has a carrying capacity of 77 passengers.
“So of cost implications, if you compare an electric or diesel bus so right now we are running at an efficiency of about 0.8 to 0.9-kilowatt-hour’’, Electric bus operator said in a statement.
At the World future energy summit held in Abu Dhabi on Monday, sustainable energy solutions were high on the agenda.
“For the introduction of electric cars is really something very good. Because when you look at a continent like Africa, I can say we contribute about 4% of the global emissions. I can see one of the biggest contributors is the transport sector’’, one of the passengers said.
Operators of electric buses in Kenya now have taken the first few steps in what is clearly a long journey toward more sustainable transport system.