Nairobi going Green with Nopia Ride all-electric vehicle cab service
By Rolex Owino
Finnish company EkoRent, which was founded in 2014, and is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, provides the service.
“We have now launched our zero-emission electric transportation service pilot in Nairobi. We aim to increase our fleet size to around couple of hundred vehicles by the end of the year,” the company says, calling on Kenyans to register either to ride or drive.
The Nairobi launch will see Nopia joining an extremely competitive industry, which is almost saturated, but with continuous innovation, the most innovative company will survive. Already, Kenya has Uber, Taxify, Mondo and Little Cab – that are concentrated and spread within the country’s major towns.
To enjoy the service, users are required to download the Nopia Ride mobile app to locate and book vehicles. The firm’s electric cars should afford riders a cheaper transportation alternative.
Nopia’s entry into the Kenyan market entails the jostling for space amongst the established players – by challenging drivers to join their team.
“All Nopia vehicles are 100% electric and good for our planet. For the drivers, they are 30-50% cheaper to operate than traditional polluting gasoline cars. Would you not like to earn up to 50% more than driving for other ride-hailing companies?” the company ‘s management poses.
Nopia says that its users will pay for their services via the M-Pesa platform.
The company, which prides itself as a player that cares for the environment, joins the Kenyan market when other taxi-hailing operators are being consistently challenged to become more innovative to remain profitable.
For instance, some well-established operators such as Uber are being left reeling from hostile markets – where drivers are leaving en masse, complaining of poor pay.
To power its vehicles, Nopia possesses charging bays around Nairobi.
Flagging off the electric cars at Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi, Head of Public Health Dr. Kepha Ombacho lauded the move by EkoRent – terming it as a timely move in environmental conservation, as well as an admirable gesture by the private sector.
Source: African Strategic-Ventures (ASV) & The Exchange.