Swedish-Kenya technology firm Opibus introduced the first ever electric bus in Kenya, including the continent’s first electric bus. This was possible by utilizing local manufacturers and global suppliers to create a product that is tailored for Africa’s public transport system. This is the first step towards the company’s vision of providing electric buses locally developed and manufactured for the pan-African market by 2023.
The Opibus electric vehicle platform, which was founded in 2017, is the key to this innovative technology. Local engineering talent is used to design the bus, while local manufacturing partners are also utilized. The bus is suitable for Africa’s needs in terms of price, durability, reliability and affordability. Global contract manufacturers and local contractors can also be used to make globally competitive products that can be quickly scaled up.
Opibus points to the fact that bus transportation costs are significantly lower than buying fully-electric buses. It is also more efficient than its diesel counterparts. The bus’s powerful motor produces maximum torque, which improves its performance and allows the driver to accelerate more quickly. Electric buses do not have combustion engines or manual gearboxes, so there is no need to change oil, filters, or gaskets. This makes maintenance costs much lower than an ordinary diesel bus.
A business model will help operators save money and the first deployment will take place in peri-urban areas of Nairobi Metropolitan. Along with the existing Opibus product range, there will be several charging stations. They are a combination of slow (AC), and fast (DC) chargers. It will take less than an hour for seamless operation to resume using the fast chargers