BasiGo electric buses

Providing cost-effective electric buses for public transport

Mobility: Electric vehicles

BasiGo launched its operations in Nairobi with electric buses manufactured by China's EV maker BYD Automotive. By using electricity instead of diesel to power the buses, it is able to provide public transport operators with a cost-effective and clean alternative. The company was able to kick-start its operations after raising $11 million in equity funding from private investors.


BasiGo is an e-mobility start-up that assembles more affordable electric alternatives to diesel buses. This is a cheaper and cleaner daily transportation alternative, diverging from conventional buses in Africa that collectively consume over one billion liters of diesel annually. BasiGo is working with Kenya Power to ensure the roll out of charging stations along key routes, enabling the buses to be charged with predominantly renewable grid electricity.

Social Impact

BasiGo offers a Pay-As-You-Drive model, facilitating access to electric buses for Nairobi bus owners. The buses can be purchased or leased with a low initial payment and an affordable mileage-based fee. This subscription encompasses free charging at BasiGo stations and expert maintenance by BasiGo technicians, which in turn creates jobs in the electric vehicle industry. They are cheaper to operate than fossil fuel-based buses, allowing operators to earn more whilst keeping costs low.  The electric vehicles also reduce air pollution, noise, and greenhouse gas emissions, leading to improved urban air quality and public health.

Environmental Impact

In African urban centers, nearly 40% of passenger journeys are undertaken using diesel buses. Diesel exhaust emissions currently constitute a major contributor to both harmful air pollutants and the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Kenya's energy mix comes largely from renewable sources like hydro and geothermal, so electric vehicles help to reduce particulate and greenhouse gas emissions from transport, with numerous co-benefits for the environment and health of citizens.

Success Factors

The company has garnered support from both investors and the government, aligning with the government's efforts to roll out a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network to be served by environmentally friendly (electric, hybrid, and biodiesel) vehicles. Knowing that there will be stable demand and expanding infrastructure for electric vehicles has justified investment in BasiGo.


Since its launch, BasiGo has avoided over 166,000 liters of diesel and 398.4 tonnes of carbon emissions. Its buses have driven over 870,000km kilometers cumulatively, providing a safe, clean, quiet, and comfortable commute for over 1 million passengers.


Challenges facing the adoption of electric buses in Africa include design mismatches with African road conditions (often tailored for China, India, or Western markets), high import taxes on fully built EVs, a lack of charging infrastructure, inadequate service and support systems (typically catering only for internal combustion engines), and significantly higher upfront costs (currently around double those of equivalent-sized diesel buses).

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Last edited on:
October 31, 2023
Shared on:
October 31, 2023

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