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BasiGo secures $5m debt facility to scale local production


BasiGo, the Kenyan electric vehicle manufacturer has secured $5 million in debt funding from the British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, to scale local assembly of 100 electric buses. 

The buses will be delivered through BasiGo’s innovative Pay-As-You-Drive financing model which enables bus operators to acquire electric buses without incurring the high upfront cost. 

“We are thrilled to receive this catalytic financial support from BII. It is a testament to our shared commitment towards building scalable climate solutions here within Africa,” said Jonathan Green, Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of BasiGo.

“Because electric buses in Kenya are powered by the country’s abundance of renewable energy, electrification of public transport in Kenya holds transformative potential. Electric buses promise freedom from fuel imports, cleaner air, modern and affordable transport for the general public, and significant impact in lowering transport CO2 emissions. BII recognizes this opportunity, and their support for BasiGo will enable us to directly deliver on that promise.”

BII’s financing support will be crucial in transitioning Kenya’s public transport from diesel-powered vehicles to modern electric buses. Each BasiGo electric bus deployed in Nairobi in place of a diesel bus mitigates over 50 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. 

Chris Chijiutomi Managing Director, Head of Africa at BII, said “With 75 years of investing for impact across Africa, it is exciting to partner with businesses at the frontier of tackling climate change. BasiGo is a leader, it’s revolutionising public transport in Kenya with the potential to mitigate 5 million tonnes of CO2 in Nairobi alone. BII’s Climate Innovation facility was designed to help scale impactful, cutting-edge technologies, with the potential to transform the lives of people and communities in Africa. We are delighted to partner with BasiGo via this facility.”

Founded in 2021, BasiGo has led the introduction of electric buses into Nairobi’s public transport fleet. BasiGo has deployed 19 Electric Buses to public transport operators in Nairobi, currently representing the largest fleet of electric buses in sub-Saharan Africa. BasiGo electric buses have driven over 1 Million kilometers, carried over 1.2 million passengers, and mitigated approximately 500 Tonnes of CO2 since they began operations.  

BII’s debt facility is the first of its kind supporting the electrification of the informal public transport sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. BII has existing indirect exposure to BasiGo through its investment in Novastar Fund II. 

The electric buses financed by this facility will be assembled locally in Kenya, establishing a new green manufacturing hub for modern electric vehicles. BasiGo first batch of locally assembled electric buses recently began production at Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers, one of country’s leading automotive assembly plants. BasiGo has already received over 350 deposits from bus operators in Nairobi looking to reserve the company’s first production units.  BasiGo aims to deploy 1,000 locally assembled electric buses in East Africa in the next 3 years.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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