Electric Cars in Kenya – Why they Are Gaining Traction

Electric Cars in Kenya – Why they Are Gaining Tractionhttps://topcar.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/13104187124_e6ea740b38_k.jpg

Electric vehicles have been around for centuries since a successful experiment performed in 1827. Over the years, they have evolved from hybrids to fully electric vehicles with companies like Tesla championing this move. Electric vehicles have been widely accepted in the European and American markets. However, they haven’t been as popular in the African market until recently.

For a few years now, Kenya has opened up its market to electric vehicles.  With popular carmakers like Toyota introducing the Toyota Prius, which is a hybrid car, many people have become accustomed to electric vehicles. Additionally, a Hungarian company launched its fully electric taxi business, Nopia Ride, in the country attributing the move to Kenya’s tech-savvy market. Policymakers have also made it cheaper to import an electric car thus encouraging more purchases. These are some of the factors that have encouraged the growing numbers of electric vehicles in Kenya.

Wider Variety

Back in the day, the commonly known choice for an electric vehicle was a Toyota Prius. It was then joined by Tesla which was too expensive for the ordinary man.  However, as more car manufacturers gain confidence in the market, more electric vehicles are being introduced. For instance, at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, numerous car brands like Volkswagen, Porsche and Honda showcased their electric vehicles.

Tax Reliefs

In a bid to encourage the commercial use of electric vehicles and lower the country’s carbon footprint, the Kenyan government slashed levy tax on electric vehicles carrying more than 10 people by half to 10%. Additionally, importing an electric car is generally cheaper since there are no imposed taxes based on their carbon emissions. Such tax reliefs make it viable for car buyers to consider owning an electric vehicle instead.

Charging Stations

The biggest concern for most people is where to charge an electric vehicle. Well, worry no more. There are several charging stations around Nairobi that make owning electric vehicles in Kenya more of a reality than grand dreams. There’s a charging station at Karen’s Jubilee Center and another at Two Rivers Mall which was installed by Nopia, the Hungarian taxi company. Car companies like Land Rover Kenya offer home charging equipment as well. Of course, with the growing numbers of electric vehicles, we hope there will be more charging stations, especially on the highways.

Electric vehicle charging image from https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11172-Electric-vehicle-charging-What-can-the-US-and-China-learn-from-each-other-

Cost Efficiency

Electric vehicles consume less power than diesel and petrol engines. They can convert 90% of their energy into driving force while petrol and diesel engines can only convert 35%. Additionally, as technology advances, electric vehicles become more efficient and powerful. For now, they consume an average of 17.8 kWh/100km and a fully charged car can travel roughly 500 kilometers. That means you can comfortably drive within Nairobi and its environs for numerous trips without worrying about charging your car.

Energy Independence

Unlike fossil fuel, electricity is everywhere – in your house, at work, malls and even in rural settings. Additionally, there are numerous ways to generate electricity such as solar panels and generators. Through such installations of renewable electricity, you become more self-sufficient and you’re no longer a victim to the ever-changing fuel prices. Can you imagine never having to rely on petrol again? Sounds good, doesn’t it?

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