In late 2021, Nopea Ride, Kenya’s electric taxi fleet service, opened an electric vehicle (EV) charging hub at Village Market in the capital, Nairobi, demonstrating the growing demand for electric mobility in East Africa.
The Finnish electric cab company earlier had announced that it planned to triple its fleet in Nairobi, helping reduce emissions from the city’s notorious traffic. EkoRent, the parent company of Nopea, now has about 1,500 EVs in its fleet.
Estonian on-demand transport company Bolt announced in October 2021 that it will roll out electric cabs in South Africa. It came four months after the company introduced e-bike food delivery services there.
“We are looking to roll out a green taxi category in South Africa in the next few months, and plan to roll out green categories in other African markets,” said Paddy Partridge, Bolt’s regional director for Africa and the Middle East.
EVs make business sense in Africa, and especially in Kenya where fuel prices fluctuate without warning. Taxi drivers and owners of electric or hybrid vehicles enjoy better profit margins and longer mileage between maintenance.
In May 2020, Vaya Africa, a ride-hail mobility venture founded by Zimbabwean mogul Strive Masiyiwa, unveiled an electric cab service and charging network in Zimbabwe, with plans to expand across the continent.