10 challenges of owning an electric car in Kenya

The country’s recent fuel shortages have exposed loopholes in the country’s supply chain system, leaving more questions than answers about who is to blame for the crisis.

The crisis, which has not yet been fully addressed, is an opportunity for electric car dealers who can offer an alternative to fossil fuel engines.

Before owning a fully electric vehicle, however, there are some disadvantages that motorists in the country are likely to encounter as Kenya has not fully embraced these models. Kenyans.co.ke addresses some of the challenges EV owners may face.

repair difficulties

BasiGo is scheduled to launch the electric bus on the Kenyan market from March 2022


Repairing an electric car is much more expensive in Kenya. There are very few experts and motorists cannot just go to any local shop for repairs. Regardless of make and model, pure electric vehicles require specific maintenance and service procedures, as well as extremely high safety standards.

Also, in case of fire, the owner can not use water, but a specific fire extinguisher, since the batteries burn at a much higher temperature.

fluctuating temperature

Electric vehicles always develop problems when exposed to extremely low temperatures for long periods of time without intervention. In places like Limuru, Nanyuki and Meru, which are prone to very low temperatures, electric vehicles may experience specific problems from time to time. The most common problem is the loss of battery power.

consumption in road traffic

Unlike gasoline-powered engines, understanding electric vehicles is quite a task. A driver needs to understand the energy consumption cycle to avoid running out of charge on the highway.

charging stations

Electric vehicles are a new phenomenon in Kenya and are mainly found in Nairobi. Finding charging stations in remote areas is almost impossible. This makes them difficult to acquire for motorists living out of town.

problems on long journeys

In Kenya, there is no proven record of whether electric vehicles are ideal for traveling long distances. Most electric cars in the country are mainly used for short distances. For example, Nopea Ride only offers taxi services in Nairobi, while BasiGo offers that matatu Services within the city routes.

Can’t be the only car in a household

There are many limitations to owning an electric vehicle in general. Most of them cannot meet household transportation needs.

This is especially true when you need a reliable vehicle that can get the job done, including some off-road work over rough terrain.


In Kenya there are some policies that regulate the ownership of electric vehicles. Insurance companies are still struggling to formulate policies suitable for electric car use.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has also not created a clear framework for the use of electric cars in the country.

Threat to the existing economic model

Some economists believe that the mass production of electric vehicles and the focus on this type of technology will destroy the current economic model.

This in turn will also affect Kenyan politics and all of the country’s monetary systems. If the oil companies lose their energy monopoly and the oil-rich nations lose their authority on the global political stage, the world could be headed for another crisis.

An Opibus electric bus on a test drive in Nairobi.

An Opibus electric bus on a test drive in Nairobi.

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