By Stephen Macharia
Go Electric Limited, a Kenyan electric vehicle (EV) dealer, has introduced the first fully electric and solar-powered vehicles to the East African market.
The vehicles, distributed under the brand name UTU, are priced competitively, making them more affordable than many EVs on the market today. The company has invested Kes 2 billion in the UTU brand, which experts say is a significant step towards Africa’s transition to e-mobility.
Go Electric intends to import 500 electric vehicles by 2023. When the first solar car, the UTU – ROSA 3.6, hit the East African market last year, it caused quite a stir due to its practicality and good looks. The vehicle has 465 integrated solar half-cells on its exterior and can travel up to 113 kilometres per week on solar power alone. The new solar car has a Lithium-Ion battery, which gives it a range of 360 kilometres. Thanks to its fast-changing technology, it takes about 35 minutes to charge the battery to 80%.
The UTU-ROSA 3.6 includes features tailored to the Kenyan market and terrain. It has a distinct function: a solar panel roof that charges the batteries while the car is parked or in motion. Solar-powered electric vehicle batteries provide enough energy to drive about 60 kilometres — more than twice the average Kenyan motorist covers daily.
Electric vehicles are modern cost-cutting innovations due to lower operating costs. They do not require fuel and engine maintenance. Electric vehicle (EV) owners, particularly those who operate public transportation, earn more money as they transition from fossil-fuel vehicles. The time to switch to solar energy for charging electric vehicles has never been better.
However, a lack of charging hubs remains a barrier that keeps many interested parties at bay. As part of a solution to this problem, Go-Electric has built a number of electric and solar stations in Kenya.
Ms Eve Maina, Managing Director of Go-Electric, stated that advancements in electric mobility bring about significant changes not only in the transportation sector but also in environmental conservation.
“The use of fossil fuels, which is expensive and also a significant cause of pollution, will be phased out soon,” said Ms Maina. She also added that the company is investing in electric automobiles to reduce carbon emissions footprints. Kenya plans to phase out second-hand cars by 2025 which, due to their age, are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. We are investing in E-Mobility to provide solutions that will put Kenya on this track while ensuring options are available for Kenyans where the total cost of ownership of cars is kept close to the current level,” Added Ms Maina.
EVs have existed in some form or another for over a century. They were briefly popular in the past but never gained traction. However, with the rising cost of fossil fuels and the need to combat climate change, electric vehicles are the modern-day trend.
“The additional feature of solarizing our EVs will contribute to a smooth transition as everyone goes green,” Ms Maina added.
Electric Vehicles are the future. Fossil fuels such as diesel and petrol are expensive and harmful to the environment. Sourcing energy from clean power services is becoming more common. Energy sourced from solar canopy services is a significant determinant of the speed at which the switch to electric vehicles happens.
The Advantages of Solar-Powered Electric Vehicles
While EVS are less expensive than fossil-fueled vehicles, solar charging lowers operating costs. The cost of charging a vehicle in a non-solar-powered home reflects on the electricity bill. Solar canopy services are the most cost-effective way to generate the energy your car requires.
One of the most significant benefits of renewable energy, such as solar power, is cost savings. The initial cost of installing solar panels replaces recurrent petrol expenses. By eliminating the need for gasoline or electricity, charging your car with solar power maximizes your savings potential.
One of the most significant issues with EVs in the past has been the time it takes to fully charge. The charging capabilities of electric vehicles and their solar systems have greatly improved over time. Thanks to solar carport services, you can now charge your car in the time it takes to eat dinner or watch a movie.
Go Electric Limited greatly contributed to this story.