Published on October 14th, 2020 |
by Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai
October 14th, 2020 by Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai
Kenya can be one of the best places for electric vehicles. The grid is very green, with over 90% of its electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as hydro, geothermal, wind, and some utility-scale solar. Kenya also finds itself in an enviable position of having excess electricity generation capacity. The installed and dependable capacity is around 2,700 megawatts (MW) and the peak demand is around 2,000 MW. In the late-night off-peak period, demand drops from a peak of just under 2,000 MW to around 1000 MW. This leaves a lot of room for the utility to sell more kilowatt-hours to EVs that would be parked all night anyway. With the transport sector contributing close to 40% of CO2 emissions in Kenya, accelerating the transition to electric mobility (part 1) becomes even more critical (part 2).
Iyadi Iyadi is on a mission to help promote the adoption of electric vehicles in Kenya. He recently bought a 35 kWh VW e-Golf from the United Kingdom. He has been using the e-Golf on his daily commute in Nairobi.
Now that the Covid-19 induced lockdowns in Kenya have been relaxed, he has just gone on his first road trip. He chose the 200 kilometer Nairobi to Nanyuki trip to show how comfortable a 200 km trip is in an EV with a decent sized battery pack even in the absence of a public charging network on Kenyan highways.
Public chargers will surely come in the near future. Right now, though, many potential EV buyers in Kenya cite the lack of charging infrastructure as a major stumbling block to adoption. So it’s good to see Iyadi going on some road trips to show that it’s possible to do some of the most popular routes in Kenya such as the Nairobi-Nanyuki route. As more and more people see that one can comfortably do a 200 km trip, it should encourage more people in Kenya to make the switch to electric.
Other popular routes include Nairobi to Nakuru (my favorite town) or from Nairobi to Namanga, the border town on the way to Tanzania. In fact, one should be able to make it from Nairobi to Naivasha and back on one charge. Naivasha is one of the most popular destinations in Kenya, 90 km from Nairobi. It has many beautiful resorts along Lake Naivasha and is also home to Kenya’s famous flower farms. Let’s hope Iyadi will go on that Naivasha return trip to test it out soon.
Here is the video of his Nairobi-Nanyuki road trip. On that trip, he stayed at the Kenya Wildlife Estate at the Ol Pejeta Conservative. The eGolf was slow charged overnight for the return trip to Nairobi.
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