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Opibus unviels first-ever electric bus designed and developed in Africa

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Opibus unviels first-ever electric bus designed and developed in Africa

Opibus is in the news again and as expected, the EV developer that develops, designs, and manufactures electric vehicles is paving the way for zero-emission transportation in Africa.

The Swedish-Kenyan technology company headquartered in Kenya has unveiled, via a press release, its first electric transit bus designed and developed upon its own modular EV platform ahead of its commercial launch later this year.

Opibus believes it is one step closer to mass-producing electric buses for the pan-African market and electrifying public transit for the entire continent by the end of 2023.

Opibus had, before now, converted existing transit buses to electrified powertrains but this will be the first bus to sit upon the company’s proprietary, modular EV platform. The company sees its platform as the “secret sauce” that enables it to manufacture a bus that provides both the reliability and durability that the continent needs at a reasonable price.

According to Opibus, compared to the fossil fuel-powered buses dominating Africa’s roads, its new electric bus is expected to provide an 80% reduction in maintenance expenses. It also anticipates lesser operating costs (about 50% less) since electricity charges are significantly lower than the price of diesel in the continent.

Opibus believes that by developing and implementing its own in-house technologies into EV products, local and global contract manufacturers can be employed to assist in creating globally competitive products and rapidly accelerating them.

Speaking on the next steps, Dennis Wakaba, Project Coordinator for Public Transport, Opibus, said, “This first electric bus is set to be launched commercially mid this year. Following this, the platform will be tested at scale in commercial deployment of 10 buses during the second half of 2022. In doing so, we ensure that we gather valuable feedback to continue the development of the product for an optimized market fit. It feels great to be the first movers in this very exciting space.”

The first deployment of the new electric buses will begin in suburban areas around Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and the buses will be paired with a business model that will allow operators to save from the moment they get the buses. The business model includes the deployment of several AC and DC Opibus chargers. The DC Opibus chargers have the capacity to fully charge an electric bus in about an hour and a half.

With the combination of lower cost, optimum performance with swift EV torque, Opibus is optimistic that its electric bus will revolutionize the public transport sector in Africa in the nearest future.

Recall Opibus and Uber had announced a strategic partnership at the tail end of 2021 aimed at scaling up the use of electric motorcycles in Africa and deploying up to 3,000 electric motorcycles for drivers by 2022.

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