Finnish Company EkoRent launches Nopia Ride-service in Nairobi. The launch signals the first time electric rides are available in East Africa for commercial use.
In the first phase of the investment program, the company has kickstarted operations that are set to see the number of electric vehicles increase to several hundred by the end of the year. These vehicles can be easily charged around Nairobi in several conveniently located Nopia Charging Bays. Nopia vehicles are easy to locate and book using Nopia mobile app now available for download. By tapping pick-up and destination point the app shows the estimated price for your ride. Besides cash, the trip can easily be paid using embedded M-Pesa Xpress functionality.
Flagging off the electric cars at Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi, Head of Public Health Dr. Ombacho lauded the move by EkoRent terming it as timely in environment conservation as well as an admirable gesture by the private sector. “In line with the United Nation Goals for Sustainable Development, I am happy to see Kenya continue to play her part particularly in the pursuance of sustainable and clean energy. I urge more players in the private sector to prioritize developing environmentally friendly technologies and compliment the government’s efforts on implementing them” he added.
In addition to being eco-friendly on the road, Nopia’s electric cars are also low in lifecycle carbon footprint. In total, batteries of electric vehicles can be used for about 10-15 years and even after the power capacity of the batteries declines for driving purpose, they can still be used for years for example as home energy storage.
According to EkoRent founder and CEO Juha Suojanen, “Nairobi is a fast-growing city with considerable traffic congestion. The World Bank reports that the transport sector accounted for more than half of all the carbon dioxide emissions Kenya produced in 2014. Nairobi City can benefit from Nopia electric ride service that helps in solving the increasing emission and urban transportation challenges while creating jobs for the populace.” The company hopes to tackle harmful air pollution by offering Nopia Electric Ride service that is 100% emission-free and helps to improve the air quality around us.
Nopia pricing model is designed to be low for the passengers and fair and economically sustainable for the drivers. “Drivers are very important part of our solution, and they should be treated with respect and paid fairly. Our solution will enable our driver partners earn higher income than any other platform in the market today” says Juha Suojanen.