Electric Vehicles in Nairobi, Kenya


The showroom price on a new Nissan Leaf is about the same as that on a Mercedes Benz C-Class. And with a “lifetime” warranty of eight years on the battery (where a replacement costs 5000 USD), an ex-Japan unit is simply out of the question.

At the moment the initial investment makes it difficult for electric and hybrid models to compete with conventional car on price. Especially in a price sensitive market like Kenya.


Belta 1000cc would be more fuel efficient. However you’ll probably have to push it up a steep hill.


@sarunibm still waiting for the response though


I will try to answer as many questions as possible.

First, the charging station pictured above has since been improved to a better and advanced technology. The tech allows for momentous monitoring of power flow to the electric vehicles (EVs), remote monitoring of the charging process, authenticated usage of the charging station.

In Kenya, electricity is way cheaper than fuel. Say you own a Nissan Leaf 2012 model (EV) and compare it with a Toyota model (i choose this due to local popularity) and run both models for 150 kilometers daily. The EV with a 30kWh battery can give a little over 200 kilometers on a single charge. As such, it would cost the EV owner 30 units*22 shs (electricity price from kplc)=KES 660 to drive for the 150 kilometers. Now, for a modest Toyota, let us choose one with a consumption of 12 kilometers/liter. It will go on to consume 12.5 liters for the 150 kilometers. Currently, petrol cost is at KES 106.3 per liter. Doing the math, the Toyota will cost the driver a rough KES 1400. Now, KES 1400 for petrol vs KES 660 for electricity for the same is distance equals a 50% save for the driver.

The chargers for the EVs can be installed at a home, following set standards that guarantee safety for the users, at public places such as the prestigious malls scattered in Nairobi and the type of level of charging changes depending on the location. Eg a home owner may opt for a Level II AC charger and a mall may prefer a DC Charging station to charge EVs from 0 to 80% battery charge for just 30 minutes.

P.S- the Kenyan economy is starting to look real good for EVs, as the right policy advisers are underway to work on incentives for EV importers to the country. Making an EV the primary car is the best option for car owners.


KPLC does not charge a flat rate of ksh22 per unit… somehow. Let me explain, for those who use less than 200 kwh per month, they are charged like “normal” consumers. That is, sh22 or any other set price (since prices keep fluctuating). Nonetheless, once you cross the 200 KWh mark, KPLC charges you differently. Lets say, like a business or a mini industry. (thats according to what we learnt doing engineering workshops/internships at various kplc stations 2 yrs ago, the pricing might have changed). If you have an EV drawing 30 units a day, there is no doubt you will cross the 200 KWh mark before end month. My point is, an EV might be costly, electricity wise in Kenya. but when other costs such as lower maintenance are factored in, it is definitely cheaper.


Walk-around may be to have at least 3 electricity meters, if there is cost savings that way. :smiley::smiley:


:joy::joy: ati 3 meters ndio uhepe kplc hahah


Not the KRA I know. Wataona EVs zinaingia mingi waongeze tax like what they’ve done to Mazda Axela na Harrier Hybrid


Martin,.if you installed a solar car park in your residence, your bill would be zero, and the excess power from the plant would offset your consumption in the house.

@Deewinc, haha KRA would be notorious, but this particular legislation is beyond their scope,…it is a multi-venture policy development between various ministries, Treasury, academia, private partners and others. Quite honestly, a green tax policy would be a possible outcome


Your math is definitely off for one, 12 km per litre is the fuel consumption of an immodest 3.0 petrol in Nairobi traffic. A modern, efficient Toyota will easily double that figure.

And more importantly, a (brand new) Nissan Leaf takes 7 hours to charge on conventional electricity, meaning a one way Nairobi to Nakuru trip would cost a ridiculous 8 hours.

EVs still don’t make economic sense. Hybrids and small turbo charged engines are the future of motoring.


EVs like Tesla Model S p100d fully upgraded (battery capacity wise) has a range of 335 miles (539 km). That would be enough to take you to Mombasa from Nairobi and still have some left to cruise around town. The downside is, Tesla never sells vehicles in places it does not have a support center (they actually emailed me about that, nilijichocha naitaka and I emailed them :laughing: ). The problem with European and Asian models of EV is that they have low battery capacity and hence not economical in Kenya. But once Tesla expands to more regions, trust me, utapata EV zina range ata ya 1000 KMs.


the seven-hour charging time is a downside for EVs currently. The solution is have is a charging station at the house, where i can charge the ev overnight before taking on the day’s errands.

,mapping strategic locations to locate DC charging stations that charge EV batteries within 30 minutes is current phase my team is in,…such that if you pulled over to a mall, you can plug in your EV, do your business then return to find a charge EV,…all under 30 minutes. these stratetig stations would be in coffee spots, malls, schools, along select CBD streets.but strategic for a driver…

and @mister_roboto, even if the toyota would achieve 24km/l in traffic…the EV is still better in that, for the same time you will be in traffic, the EV will not use any electricity, and the current battery charge would hence drive you through a longer distance. Additionally, EVs have regenerative breaking, a feature that allows the battery to recharge as your brake.


A Nissan leaf 2018 model will give you 250 miles of range ( averagely 400km). If the argument would lie in ecoomics of each car technology, (electricity cost vs fuel cost), driving for that range would pivotally be cheaper in an EV.

From our studies within Nairobi, most drivers will clock in between 40 km-180 km (extremes for delivery firms) within the city. This type of range everyday is a lead factor for a driver to switch to EV.


ooh, sikua najua range yake. I think that is a good EV, for Kenyan market. you dont even need to charge it every day, plus you can charge it overnight in case you are travelling far. lemme google vile kanakaa


Impractical because of initial cost and unreliable power supply. Without cost subsidies this is a guaranteed failure.

Fast charging kills the lifespan of the battery, you must know that. And in the Kenyan market reliability and longevity are a big deal.

Moot point, hybrids have the same technology and modern petrol engines are super efficient in traffic. Plus I don’t have to worry about the expensive maintenance and the cost of replacing the batteries.


solar energy is reliable than KPLC’s power and with coupled with a storage solution, the application will totally take you from using grid power.


The battery in an ev is better developed than the average lithium-ion phone battery, and the ISO standards for these ev batteries are universal for all manufacturers. Again take Nissan for instance, they offer an eight year or a 100,000 miles range warranty for their battery pack.

Whilst running the EV within those eight years (96 months), there is no maintenance needed for the batteries- they do not need any fill-ups.



For three years now, I have not incurred any cost for the Leaf, not in the battery or anything.

The car has been subjected to all sorts of terrain and weather, and the battery life is still at the industry’s level, 12-bars each time the car is charged.


You are way off. It is after using 1500 kWh when the ‘business rate’ kicks in, not 200 kWh.

DC (Domestic, 240 V)

First 50kWh = 2.50 per unit
50 to 1 500kWh = 12.75 per unit
Thereafter 20.57 per unit


In case you need to calculate electricity bills - https://stima.regulusweb.com/


Are you really going to tell straight up lies now?