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Ksh395m boost to Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers

Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) has secured $3 million in equity funding from CFAO Group, a key player in the mobility industry owned by Toyota Tsusho Corporation.

The funding will be used to expand the assembly and distribution of electric buses in both the local market and Rwanda. Initially, Kenyan startup, partnered with Thika Based KVM, has introduced 19 electric buses in Nairobi, aiming to expand to 1000 in East African regions within three years.

The infusion of funds is divided between CFAO Kenya and Mobility54, which is the corporate venture capital arm of CFAO. Thus, in a press statement, BasiGo founder and CEO Jit Bhattacharya said the company was grateful to have CFAO as a partner in the development of electric bus transportation in Africa.

“CFAO, a leading African energy and mobility company, recognizes the potential of electric mobility in Africa, ensuring BasiGo offers competitive, scalable e-bus solutions.” Said Mr Bhattacharya.

BasiGo secured a Ksh804.5 million investment from Silicon Valley venture capitalists in 2022 to support local electric bus assembly and charging infrastructure, following a previous $5 million debt funding.

The company has revealed that it has received more than 500 reservations from bus operators in Nairobi and an additional 100 reservations from bus operators in Kigali. The startup, backed by CFAO, plans to expand its Pay-As-You-Drive financing model to include a wider range of commercial electric vehicles.

CFAO has established its first electric vehicle dealership in Rwanda and invested in e-mobility start-up companies through Mobility54, promoting sustainable transportation and a green mobility ecosystem in over 40 African countries.

According to data released by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), by June 2023, the number of electric vehicles and motorcycles in the country rose by 729 units, reaching a total of 2,079 compared to 1,350 in 2021.

The rise in popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country highlights their appeal in providing cost-effective transportation while also reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.

By Hellen Lunalo

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