Electric Vehicles in Nairobi, Kenya


I’m not sure if that clip is a news article or an advert.


It looks like a sponsored piece


How soon do you foresee people in Nairobi buying electric cars as their first cars?


I’d say at least 15 years for all-electric cars.


  • 5-10 years for them to go mainstream in Japan.
  • Almost 80% of cars sold in Kenya are used (Add another 5-7 years).


Saw this bike today at a duthi shop going for 110k thought it’s a good way to get around, the sale info was sketchy giving running time instead of milage, the running time is 8 hours per charge.


I think the focus should be to prioritize human traffic in the CBD and suburbs(approx. 20 km radius) Seriously how can you pay 80 - 100 /= from South C to town? A distance of ~ 6 km from railways…

The BRT(Bus Rapid Transit) system that gives priority to light vehicles(motorcycles and bicycles) and to pedestrians. … Credits itdp.org …there is also a startup accelerator looking for promising startups to the problem Tumi(Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative)

Though regardless of the infra development challenge and regulation …with the warm to temperate climate of KE I doubt it would take up …


Yes, people will be buying electric cars in the next few years. Kenya is very quick at absorbing technology…lets not talk about teslas because those are not in our range in terms of availability, maintenance(tesla support) and price(for most)…lets go to asian and european manufacturers. We have the nissan leaf, hyundai kona, KIA e-nero, mitsubishi outlander PHEV…honda clarity plug in hybrid, prius plug in hybrid etc…those are EV and plug in hybrids that will be in our market very soon. Some you can buy right now…In the european market you have audi, merc and bmw getting their game faces on in the EV market with the etron, EQC, i3, jaguar i-pace etc etc…which you wont see soo much of but people with the money have the option.
Cost of electricity in our country is cheaper than fuel, especially now that it has dropped from an average of 22bob to 15bob per KWh…cheapest it has been for more than 10years. If you can charge your electric car at work then lucky you…e.g honda clarity plug in hybrid will charge in 3 hours from a normal socket and give you from 75-95 km on electric alone depending on road, weather and driving conditions. If you charge at work you will use no fuel in a very long time if your commutes are not very long.
We have the right weather conditions for EV as it does not get too hot nor too cold to affect battery efficiency.
We use 240V(basically level II) instead of 120V so charging will be faster
For those who hate on EVs and hybrids are enemies of progress…wataachwa wakizubaa when others are moving forward. Never criticize technology, it will always surprise you as history has always shown.
Hydrogen will become mainstream only when production, transportation and storage are perfected. Right now it is waaay too expensive to manufacture. One thing that can make hydrogen to go mainstream is the deduction in oil reserves to almost nil…this will boost oil companies to quickly jump to hydrogen in order to stay in business…
If your are afraid to buy these cars, go with the main stream hybrid ones already in the market e.g toyota prius and camry, honda insight, accord & fit hybrid, lexus rx450h and other lexus models.
And yes @mister_roboto , @KENNEDY_NGACHA is correct…a normal car e.g axio 1500cc will have an average of 12km/l…right now its even worse because fuel is at 118 per litre while electricity is at an average of 15bob per unit…unit prices are different but that’s the average.
Na hao wenye wanahesabu stima you guy are forgetting to include taxes and all those exras…soo if its 2.50 for first 50 units, you add 7 bob for taxes and other charges coming to around 10 bob per unit…but that system iliisha…now its different.


This is probably where I’d find myself easiest. That Hybrid Honda Fit sounds interesting.


Yeah…they are good cars…i’d advice the insight though…its larger so you have more capacity…but if your pocket allows it a good 2011-2012 toyota prius would be fantastic. Its the best for fuel economy and size…though the insight looks better both exterior and interior.


Gafament could use this as an outlet to allow guys to import ev duty free so as to consume the excess power they produce.


Let’s do some quick math then, a clean grade A 2011 Toyota Prius retails at the port of Mombasa for 1.5 million Kes. As is it an 8 year old car, the battery is overdue for replacement meaning another 500k in maintenance for what is a “new” car.

On running costs alone this already looks like a fools errand.


The only upside is that after the battery replacement it will be good for 8 to 10 more years …but you are correct, a used Prius is quite hard to reccomend if the mileage is over 50k kilometres.


8 years or 800,000 km as per the manufacturer’s specifications.

The problems arise when you factor that you are out of warranty and the local dealer does not support grey market imports.

In short you are stuck with a car that has high maintenance costs, little if any specialised dealer support and for the price sensitive Kenyan market, no resale value.


I would disgaree with this because apart from the battery, there are no other expensive charges. It is also not given that your battery will require changing. Most likely even the second hand will last over 5 years.


What about the electric motors, inverters and regenerative braking systems? Those young men at Grogan neither have the skills nor the tools to repair your complex hybrid/ electric systems.

Fun fact; in the event of a break down you cannot tow a hybrid car, flat bed only.


there are obviously down sides to owning one of these cars…but if you check online these batteries and other drivetrain components do last long…if you buy a prius that is below 60k kilometrage, you have along way to go before the battery pack needs replacement…which is not a must because these cars can run on engine power alone if the battery dies…so it will just be a normal car.
I’ve seen many on sale ranging between 1.1-1.6m depending on year and kilometrage…
You also have to remember that these cars are very rugged and the drive train is well built…they can handle a hard life…and for the fact that the electric motors have very less moving parts and the engine is not stressed due to the efficient mapping its given, high life expectancy of the drive train is expected. Of course the technology and skill to fix these cars is not there in our country but that is a risk that many people are willing and have taken because they know how good these cars are…unless you say that many buy them not knowing the downsides…but soon enough, people will specialize in fixing them…when it comes to matters tech, always think positive.
This all boils down to preference…you buy what you want and be ready to deal with the downsides…that is why you find many falling on the safe side of 1000cc to 1800cc NA japanese cars…for me, i’d buy a normal car or take a risk on HV if i get a good deal…EV maybe in the near feature…I can also take risk on performance sports cars and super sports cars but mostly japanese e.g impreza STI, evo 10, GTR R35 and some lexus models etc…many would’t…so preference.


60k mileage so model year 2013 right? On one of those ex-Japan sites, the cheapest one on offer is valued at 11,000 USD (roughly 1 million Kes). After shipping (1500 USD) and KRA (800k Kes), the total cost is 2 million Kes.

Please note this is for a grade B listed car with a questionable mileage of 20k. Something “clean” would set you back at least 3 million. Don’t forget that your batteries will inevitably need replacement and your hybrid car has no resale value.

Kenya is a price sensitive market. Spares and maintenance will be a huge factor even if you deliberately ignore it.

As an example you don’t see many first generation Prii/ Priuses on the road these days. Or even hybrid Harriers.

The scrap yards of Nairobi are packed with overpriced and over complicated cars that no one can maintain.

Ex-Japan cars are popular because they are affordable and reliable. Two things that an EV/ hybrid cannot handle right now.

On a side note, a Datsun R35 is more comparable to an M4 Bimmer or an AMG Merc. Or in other words way out of your league.


Hakuna Toyota kadogo ka 8 years kametembea less than 150,000 kilometers. They rewind the mileage and sell them as still, “brand new.” People who own such cars back in Japan drive on average 100 kilometers per day to and from work.

I have a friend who is in Japan hua anaonesha hizo magari kwa auction unaona zimetembea over 300,000 kilometers then anacheka na kusema hizi next month ziko on their way to Kenya with a mileage of less than 50,000 kilometers.


I’m talking about the ones that are in the country already but not locally used or importing a 2012 one…plus when you say 3 million you are overstating it…unless you are talking about completely new cars or a 2016+ used car…
and yes, spares and maintenance will always be the top factor that most kenyans look at…that’s why i said preference is key.
First generation prii were not hugely bought because people were afraid to buy hybrid cars…even importers didn’t import them as they were afraid that they wont be bought…but look at the market now…roads are full of insights and prii…plus for rx450h i still see them on the road…
EV and HV are well on their way to become affordable and reliable…they actually are its just that our country is not there yet…but it will get there…soon.
And i know how the r35 is priced…and yes, it is currently out of my league to buy one…but whats wrong with a man having a dream to own one that you have to state that he cant afford it and you don’t even know him??


8 year ex-Japan minimum mileage ni 700k. Anything less has been doctored.

Toyota Kenya do not sell hybrids, I’m talking about an ex-Japan. An clean ex-Japan Prius in the spec we we’re discussing is at least 3 million.

Stop shifting goal posts.

Cool story bro. The current state of battery technology decides otherwise.

A man should have a dream, I cannot deny you that. Join the R35 club, I will encourage and support you. Just don’t compare it to Subbies and Evo’s.