- Kenya has begun preparations to support the transition from fossil fuel-powered vehicles as demand for electric vehicles intensifies.
- Kenya Power has established a liaison office which acts as a one-stop shop to champion the Company’s e- mobility business.
- The company is also in the process of hiring a consultant to guide the development of an E-mobility Network Infrastructure System (ENIS) to pilot the electric vehicle charging stations, both for company use and demonstration purposes.
Kenya has begun preparations to support the transition from fossil fuel-powered vehicles as demand for electric vehicles intensifies.
Speaking during the opening session of Kenya Power inaugural E-mobility Conference Kenya Power’s Ag. Managing Director Geoffrey Muli said the firm has established a liaison office which acts as a one-stop shop to champion the Company’s e- mobility business.
“Through this office, we are working with investors and stakeholders to support the development of the e-mobility ecosystem, which entails the identification of sites for potential charging stations and developing requisite geo-mapping software to enable users to locate the nearest charging station,” Muli explained.
The company is also in the process of hiring a consultant to guide the development of an E-mobility Network Infrastructure System (ENIS) to pilot the electric vehicle charging stations, both for company use and demonstration purposes.
During the current financial year, Kenya Power has set aside $320,000 (KSh40 million) to purchase three electric vehicles and to construct three electric vehicle-charging stations within Nairobi.
The company plans to phase out its entire fleet of 2,000 fossil fuel-powered vehicles within the next 4 years through retrofitting electric engines on existing vehicles as well as the purchase of new electric vehicles.
“The demand for electric-powered vehicles is expected to accelerate in the coming years with increased awareness of the benefits of e-mobility. We see this as an organic opportunity for us to support the country’s green agenda and to drive demand for electricity, especially at night to bridge the gap between off-peak load and available generation capacity,” said Muli.
In order to accelerate investments in E-mobility, Muli revealed that Kenya Power has submitted a proposal for an E- mobility tariff to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), which is currently undergoing public participation.
He assured E-Mobility investors that it has enough power networks to support the transition as the company has invested in grid expansion and refurbishment projects in the last five years.
“We have consistently invested heavily towards the expansion of the grid’s capacity and its automation to accommodate the exponential growth in demand for electricity and to improve the flexibility of the grid and, in turn, the quality of power supply,” Muli said.
Currently, Kenya’s grid totals about 300,000 kilometres in circuit length of the high, medium, and low voltage networks which serve over 9.1 million customers, giving access to over 75 percent of the country’s population in all 47 counties.
Additionally, the country has an installed capacity of 3,321MW against a peak demand of 2,132MW.
During off peak, which happens late in the night, the demand drops to about 1,100MW. Over the last three years, approximately 90 percent of the electricity dispatched to the grid comprises of clean energy generated through renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar, and wind. This rises to 100 percent during most of the night off-peak time.
“Charging electric vehicles especially at night would, therefore, help bridge the gap between off-peak load available generation capacity as well as raise the average demand to above 1,500MW, making e- mobility more environmentally friendly end to end,” he added.
Through its subsidiary, the Institute of Energy Studies and Research (IESR), the company is currently undertaking a multi-stakeholder project supported by the European Union that is focused on modelling of the grid network, to analyse the impact of charging infrastructure on the national grid.
The data will be used to develop strategies for management of growth in electricity demand driven by E- mobility.
The project also aims to deploy 15 e-motorcycle charging and swapping points at existing petrol stations in Nairobi with the possibility of extending it in Kisumu.
The E-mobility Conference brought together more than 300 participants drawn from the private and public sectors to develop a roadmap for electric motorization in the country.
There are an estimated 3.1 million passenger electric vehicles on the road globally, with China accounting for 1.48 million.
Locally, it is estimated that there are at least 1,000 electric-powered vehicles on the roads, ranging from two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers.