Swedish-Kenyan company Opibus has introduced the first African-designed and manufactured electric bus in Kenya as part of its efforts to bring clean energy to public transportation.
Opibus, which was the first company to make electric motorcycles in Kenya, plans to launch the bus commercially mid this year and bring it to markets across Africa by 2023.
“I feel privileged driving this vehicle. It is also very amazing when you are driving this vehicle compared to the fossil fuel vehicles, considering there is a lot of vibration on fossil fuel vehicles and also a lot of noise. But with this vehicle, it’s quite silent and very sleek,” said Benjamin Maina, one of the first drivers to drive the fully electric bus manufactured by Opibus.
The introduction of electric buses by Opibus is aimed at reducing carbon emissions in Nairobi and other African cities.
“This electric bus is really (an) important first step in the transition from fossil fuel vehicles to electric clean mobility. And I think we are really showing precedence being the first movers in this market with a bus that is even locally developed,” said Albin Wilson, the chief of strategy and marketing at Opibus.
Christopher Maina, a resident of Nairobi, spoke about his experience as a passenger riding on an electric bus.
He said: “This ride today is one of its own, having ridden on an electric vehicle. It's just cool, no noises like the combustion engines, there are no smells like the combustion engines. So, it's just cool and awesome to be in this vehicle.”
The automobile company is testing 10 of its buses in Nairobi to ensure that the product is optimized to the requirements of the region.