One of a Kind Electric Bus Launched in Nairobi [VIDEO]

  • An electric bus from Opibus during a test drive in Nairobi.
    An electric bus from Opibus during a test drive in Nairobi.
    Business Insider
  • Swedish-Kenyan company Opibus has launched the continent's one of a kind electric bus which is expected to start operations later this year.

    The bus is the first all-electric as well as the first of its kind to be designed on the African Continent.

    According to Bloomberg, the design is a simpler version and is expected to save the manufacturer and its operator maintenance cost of up to 80 per cent and runs on 50 per cent less cost as compared to the diesel version.

    Speaking to the press, Opibus chief strategy and marketing officer Albin Wilson noted that the trial of 10 buses would be rolled out in the last half of 2022.

    An electric bus from Opibus during a test drive in Nairobi.
    An electric bus from Opibus during a test drive in Nairobi.

    He explained that the pilot would inform the project's financial viability before a commercial launch is held by the end of 2023.

    “This first year, we will be testing 10 buses commercially in Nairobi to ensure that the product fits and is optimized for the usage patterns.

    "Once we get this valuable feedback, we will make the required changes and get all our production partners lined up to scale the roll out as rapidly as possible,” stated Albin.

    The company further noted that the fully-built electric vehicle will be valued at Ksh11 million while those converted from diesel to electric will retail for Ksh6.7 million.

    Wilson further explained that the company is seeking to ensure that the new design is affordable and more durable than the petrol or diesel-operated version.

    “Our strategy is to design and develop a bus that is viable in price, durable and accessible for this region…We are building a product that allows for a rapid scale up, that can leverage global and local manufacturers.

    "Meaning our design is easily implemented across the African continent, as it is a product tailored for the use case, and very cost effective,” he added.

    A video seen by showed the company carrying out a test run on the faded blue bus with a bold message that 'Africa's future is electric.'

    The design involves a powerful motor that allows the bus to have maximum torque. Lack of combustion also alleviates oil/filters/gaskets which demand regular change.

    Below is the test drive video: