Briefly take us through the BasiGo journey from inception to where it is today;
- The Covid 19 pandemic brought alive the extent to which the transport sector contributed to pollution of the environment both air and Noise.Our founders Jit and Jonathan, from that inspiration forged the Basi-Go dream. It presented the opportunity to have an Impact on the environ-ment and Business economics for investors in the transport industry as the electric bus technology would require very minimal operation cost unlike internal combustion engines that have more than 5,000 moving parts and around 100 moving parts on an electric bus.
- Following a lot of work on designs and research and partnering with the biggest Electric Bus manufacturer in the world, we have tested the Basi-Go K6 bus in the kenyan roads for over 6 months and successfully piloted two ELectric buses with two companies in the country now at over 100,000 km covered.
2. Since the inception of the Basi- Go Electric buses, how has the purchases been, and what growth trajectories can be sighted?
- We haven’t actually sold any units,however we have had a very good number of commitments in reservations that will allow us to see 100 units by the end of 2023 and plan to have sold 1,000 units by end of 2026.
3. BasiGo has set its sights on providing clean-energy mass transit vehicles in a country that is heavily re-liant on fossil-fuel buses.What is the main challenge you are facing in re-gards to that?
- The biggest challenge that we face is what generally the whole world faces in EV technology.However as a company Basi-Go finance and business model has mitigated the challenges.High upfront cost -Our financing model subsidises the upfront cost and gives us the customer a Pay As You Drive subscription that helps them afford the bus to an almost similar cost of a diesel bus.Charging infrastructure -Ba-si-Go is setting up all the charging infrastructure conveniently along operation routes of PSVs companies. Technology Expertise –Basi-Go has trained and well equipped service depots and personnel that fully maintains and services the Electric bus under the agreements of purchase at no extra cost.
- 4. BasiGo closed $4.3 million in seed funding in February this year, three months after setting up operations in East Africa, what strategic plans have been laid out and done to grow the company?
- To grow the company for the country and the region,we are setting up a local assembly line that will see our next year’s production being assembled locally in partnership with the region’s biggest assembly plant in Kenya, which will help in production time leads and tax benefits.
5. Implementation of the Pay-As- You-Go is one of your main strat egies, how effective has it been to your operations?
The Pay As You Drive business model helps the customer to;
• Not to absorb the high upfront cost that comes with purchase of Electric Buses
• The PAYD gives investors opportunity to focus on bus operations and profitability since it covers service maintenance
• PAYD also mitigates the high risk that comes with ownership of the battery hence shielding them under a warranty.
6. BasiGo buses are mainly in use within Nairobi Town, have they been accessible to the outskirts of the capital city? How soon are you looking towards expanding?
- The demand is already there to expand outside Nairobi, however we are working on Nairobi for now then when we scale production and charging infrastructure we shall be slowly expanding outside but we can’t give a timeline at this moment.Alot of research goes into the set-up which hasn’t been done for the areas.
7. In your opinion, how is the goal of revolutionising the industry of transport and commuter experience going to be attained?
- This will be achieved by making the Revolutionary technology affordable which we have made affordable as Basi-Go and now it’s only a matter of time for the journey as Basi-Go we have taken that 1st step.
8. Offering services for commuters within the city has been great, but what about the long-distance travellers within the nation?
- The Electric buses we have and shall have in future like all other Electric buses have a limited capacity of a battery that advises the range.This makes it more economically viable to do intra city commute but also with time we are looking into doing long distance efficient travel companies with flexible charging options and dynamics.It wouldn’t be convenient for customers to make a 2 to 3 hrs break to charge the bus on your way from Nairobi to Mombasa or vice versa but on a trip like Nakuru of 160 Km and coming back another 160 end to end charging is feasible.
9. What measures has BasiGo taken to ensure the safety of its drivers and passengers?
- The Company that we have partnered with-BYD- is the largest bus manufacturer in the world, hence safety and quality is guaranteed. Also we have informed the designing and manufacturing of the bus to be KS372 and KS 1515 Kenya Bureau of Standards(KBS) on safety and comfort and more that makes it a fit for premium bus.
10. How has technology proven to be important in this time and age, especially in the transport sector?
- The E-Bus is a technology in itself and is growing and changing every day. The Basi_Go model also integrates telematics for bus real time monitoring, wifi, charging ports and reservations by customers which make the value add a big selling point for our clients.
11. Finally, take us through a brief background & professional journal which has shaped who you are today?
I have been in the public transport sector for the last 15 years and combined with the automotive business iver the same time. I have a background of Entrepreneurship, finance and marketing from Strathmore University, the two coupled together gives me a lot of insight in the area having been a part of the ownership of a leading management company in Nairobi. Our Found ers have rich background and experience in the renewable energy sector around East Africa and previous worked in the Electric mobility industry in the Us making Basi-Go a strategic fit to roll out the E-Bus in Kenya
12. Parting Shot;
- The best time to have rolled out this technology of E-buses in Kenya was a few years ago, the next best time is now and Kenya having more than 90% of its electric energy renewable, then it’s the perfect place and country to start from.