Kenya power taps electric vehicles to grow revenue bracket

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After years of making losses, Kenya’s power distributor, Kenya Power, is now eyeing electric vehicle market in a bid to expand its revenue bracket.

The company is currently in talks with at least five e-mobility firms for the carbon-free transport market.

According to Kenya Power management, the evolution provides the company with an opportunity to grow its sales, as it continues with its improvement plans after years of losses.

“To support the growth of electrified motorisation in the country, Kenya Power has established a liaison office, which will act as our one-stop-shop to champion the e-mobility business,” said acting Managing Director Rosemary Oduor.

The global call for the world to go green has not left Kenya behind, after the country launched its first Passenger Service Vehicle (PSV) on March 9.

BasiGo, the first of its kind to launch PSV bus in Kenya, is currently taking up a pilot program with two buses to prove their mobility.

The main partners in the project are Citi Hoppa and Eastlands Eagles as the newly launched buses are expected to take the CBD to JKIA Route and City Stadium to Dandora route.

“Currently, with the routes, the two buses are plying the charging ports are located along Airport North Road but as we expand, we will identify charging ports in all locations, “said the Head of Business Development at BasiGo Sam Kamunya.

The 25-seater bus will charge each commuter Ksh.20 per kilometre. There is already a log-in provision which positions location of the bus, charge in the bus and electricity potential of the bus which customers will pay for.

Oduor said the e-mobility evolution will provide the buses with an opportunity to grow sales.

Kenya has currently installed a capacity of 2991 MW and an off-peak load of 1200 MW to avail enough power to support the entire e-mobility ecosystem compromising powering charging stations for domestic and business use.

The e-mobility direction is, however, not the first innovative move the power utility has made after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a raft of reforms at the firm last year.

The firm is also seeking to venture into the internet selling market with the introduction of high-speed internet.

The power utility will first target its corporate users as tests have already commenced in larger power stations with the expectation to roll out similar services to its rural customers.

The electricity distributor, who has been renting its fibre optic cables to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Safaricom, Zuku, and Jamii Telecoms, has set it at an advantage as the foundation of having optic cables is already in existence.

Kenya Power will look to provide its customers in the corporate division with a bundled service that will comprise both electricity and the internet.

“Kenya Power will leverage on our vast network to tap into the market…we will offer the corporates the option of using our internet for their primary use or redundancy.”

As Video-On-Demand Services (VODs) continue to rise in the country, the distributor has made a promise to offer internet services that are affordable as it attempts to gain market share.

The move is informed by the ongoing reforms at Kenya Power, under the watch of Energy Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma.

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