BasiGo's plan to expand its activities in East Africa is well underway. A few days ago, the Kenya-based mobility start-up was awarded $1.5 million to deploy its electric buses in Rwanda.
While most of its grants in East Africa have until now been devoted to the fields of biodiversity, water and sanitation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has sprung a surprise by awarding 1.5 million dollars to BasiGo, a Kenyan start-up specialising in the assembly of electric buses. The funding will “support pilot testing and scale-up” of its vehicles in Rwanda, where the company has decided to expand its electromobility activities.
“This American support will accelerate our plan to electrify public transport in Rwanda, which is facing both the pressures of rising fuel prices and an urgent need to diversify its public transport offer. We believe that our Pay-As-You-Drive payment solution, with the support of the Rwandan government, will enable bus operators in Kigali to rapidly increase the number of electric buses in their fleet,” explains Jit Bhattacharya, who set up BasiGo in 2017.
Funding from USAID through its Development Innovation Ventures programme should enable the start-up to conquer the electric vehicle market in East Africa. For the time being, BasiGo’s first two electric buses, which will operate in the Rwandan capital as part of a pilot phase, “have already arrived in Mombasa (a port city in southern Kenya)”.
In all, the mobility start-up plans to deliver 200 electrified vehicles to Rwanda before the end of 2024. This is part of a commercial partnership announced with the Rwandan company AC Group in July 2023. The fleet will be operated mainly by public transport operators Kigali Bus Service, Royal Express and Volcano. BasiGo will also provide them with “all recharging and maintenance services”.