Electrical taxis might be the best thing for Kenya's capital which currently suffers from air pollution. However for some these new taxis won't just help the environment, but will also make some money.
Four months after Tom Ambani acquired his electric powered Nissan Leaf, the 40-year-old father of four can't imagine his job without it.
"The car is powerful, silent, does not pollute the environment and it's saving me good money," he told DW. Ambani is a taxi driver with Nopia, a ride-sharing company which offers zero-emission transport in the bustling city.
Launched in Kenya in August 2018 by Finnish company EkoRent — which started out as an electric car rental app in Helsinki — Nopia has so far installed five charging stations in three locations, including the Two Rivers Mall, the Hub Karen and Thika Road Mall. The Two Rivers Mall operates a 12 megawatt solar and diesel power station, while Hub Karen has installed a 450 kilowatt solar electric power generating plant.
An electric vehicle runs on the electricity stored in batteries. Ambani is able to drive about 150 kilometers on full charge. He usually drives 200 - 250 kilometers a day. After each trip Ambani recharges for convenience, which takes approximately 20 - 30 minutes. Once empty, each car takes about an hour to fully charge.
Anywhere, anytime, without restrictions
"We installed charging locations within the eco-friendly malls [so we could] tap into their energy," EkoRent Country Director, Ken Osano, told DW. "We are collaborating with other partners [to find more] strategic locations such as off main roads, because malls are not the most convenient locations for charging systems."
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