BasiGo secures $5m debt to ramp up e-bus assembly
BasiGo, an electric bus company operating in Kenya and Rwanda, has secured $5 million in debt funding from the British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor.
The company operates on a pay-as-you-drive model, providing its electric buses to matatu companies. Customers are presented with the flexibility to purchase an electric bus without a battery, resulting in a reduced initial cost. Alternatively, they can choose a pay-as-you-drive subscription, which includes the lease of the battery. This subscription model allows for a more accessible entry point for businesses interested in adopting electric buses while managing costs through a battery lease arrangement.
The newly acquired funds are earmarked for expanding the assembly of electric buses in Kenya, as BasiGo endeavors to meet the goal of delivering 100 buses in the country. Currently, the company has deployed 19 buses on the streets of Nairobi, operated by various matatu companies (privately owned mini-buses used for public transport).
The global momentum toward the acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) is evident, with over 11 million registered EVs worldwide in 2020, and projections anticipate a significant increase to 145 million by 2030. Despite this, progress in Africa, particularly in Kenya, has been comparatively slower. Currently, EV adoption in Kenya stands at 5% of the total vehicles, mostly comprising private vehicles. However, recent developments indicate a potential shift in this landscape. The launch of the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network in Nairobi, exclusively designed for green vehicles, signals a commitment to sustainable transportation. Additionally, initiatives by EV startups like BasiGo contribute to the growing interest in electric mobility. These developments suggest a promising trajectory for the expansion of electric vehicle usage in Kenya, as efforts are made to integrate green transportation solutions into public infrastructure and promote the adoption of EVs in both private and public sectors.