29-01-2021 by redazione
Finnish electric taxis are arriving in Nairobi to combat pollution and reduce costs for those who encounter traffic on a daily basis for work.
Scandinavian company Nopea Ride has invested in its fleet of "green" electric-powered taxis, with the idea of multiplying sales of its cars and helping to reduce emissions from Nairobi's notorious traffic.â€¯ International environmental experts have long since established that electric vehicles can be a decisive step towards reducing pollution-related health problems, but at the same time warn that emissions standards, especially in relation to public transport, are not yet meeting the real issues.â€¯
The company behind the Nopea Ride brand (meaning "fast ride" in Finnish) launched these electric cars in Nairobi in 2018 and has set up charging stations that give free electricity to drivers who buy their cars.
Thirty taxi drivers joined immediately and by the end of this year the company aims to have 100 vehicles, effectively tripling its fleet.
For public transport operators, this means minimising costs and being able to offer customers competitive rates, and for the company, selling its service more easily. All it takes is a 30-minute charge to be able to move around the city and work with customers for a whole day.
The only problem for the drivers is the high cost of the cars, which for now cost about twice as much as petrol cars, but in a long-term investment it is certainly worth it.
There are an estimated 11,000 licensed fuel taxis in Nairobi.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says most of the cars in Kenya are used imports from Japan with high levels of emissions.
The World Health Organisation, for its part, has found that car pollution causes at least 5,000 deaths a year in Kenya.
Martin Muchangi of AMREF Health Africa, interviewed by Voice of Africa, admits: 'We see a marked increase in cases of obstructive pulmonary disease. Many of the triggers for asthma stem from the air pollution that occurs along our roads.
According to UNEP experts, switching to electric taxis will help reduce air pollution, but Kenya also needs better public transport and a ban on high-emission vehicles.
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