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First new electric vehicle launched in Kenya

Caetano Kenya, the official Hyundai car dealer in the country, on Wednesday announced the arrival of the first new electric vehicle (EV) – the Hyundai KONA Electric to be commercialized in Kenya.

This announcement is timely following the recent hike in fuel prices after the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority scrapped fuel subsidies.

Speaking at Salvador Caetano Africa, the group Chief Operating Officer COO Jorge Costa said that the launch goes in line with the Kenya government’s plan to have at least 5 per cent of all registered vehicles being electric by 2025 in a bid to curb environmental pollution from petroleum fuels.

“As a company, we are excited to be at the forefront of driving the change of green mobility. We all have a role to play in taking care of our future and our children’s future and EV is just a beginning,” he added.

This new addition of the first EV to their range that runs over 400 kilometers (Km) on a single charge is set to meet the ever-growing need for petrol and diesel alternatives.

The new KONA Electric embodies the two fastest-growing automotive trends of electrification and Sports Utility Vehicle style carrying the same expressive design with a ‘go-anywhere’ attitude of the regular KONA.

The fully electric version, with no compromises, reflects the individual lifestyle of modern customers who benefit from a great fun-to-drive and the low environmental impact of a fully electric car.

During the unveiling of the Hyundai KONA EV, the Head of Sustainable Mobility Unit at the United Nations Environment Programme Rob De Jong noted that the future of transportation is electric as more people across the globe are opting for electric vehicles.

“I am excited to see Kenya join the EV revolution and set the ball rolling for Africa’s shift to zero-emission mobility,” he said, adding that he has been comfortably driving an electric car in the country for the last five years.

According to Allied Market Research, the Global electric market is expected to rise seeing that electric cars reduce air pollution considerably.

The research states that in over a year, just one electric car on the roads can save an average of 1.5 million grams of Carbon dioxide (CO2) which simply translates to electric cars giving us cleaner streets making towns and cities a better place to be for pedestrians and cyclists.

According to a press statement sent to newsrooms, the demand for electric cars is projected to grow as the vehicles become more affordable and charging stations become widely available.

“Already, Kenya Power has announced plans to build a nationwide network of public charging stations on highways, parking lots and malls, which will help in eradicating one of the biggest hurdles in electric car adoption in the country,” read the statement.

Also, the maintenance of an electric car is also considered to be 80 per cent cheaper to service than a regular internal combustion engine car.

The new KONA Electric vehicle has undergone bold exterior design updates with the front having a pure and clean design new-look, and closed grille features making it even more outstanding.

Further, this modern look is enhanced by the new LED Daytime Running Lights, which emphasize the car’s wide stance and the front is complemented by a unique feature of an asymmetric charging port.

The KONA EV offers a 5 year/100,000 Km warranty and an 8 year/160,000 Km warranty on the battery making EV a very cost-effective solution.

By Michael Omondi

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