EkoRent Africa has launched Nopia Ride, a full electric taxi service in Nairobi, Kenya.
The service by Finnish company EkoRent which was founded in 2014 is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland.
"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 innovation, the fittest will survive. Already, Kenya has Uber, Taxify, Mondo and Little Cab which are concentrated in the major towns.
Just recently, Little Cab went on the charm offensive to appease users over plans to increase charges.
In an email to users, Little Cab said that it was increasing their fares by Sh5 from Sh30 in Nairobi.
"After a deep thought, we're rolling out a minor increase adjustment to our fares at Little in Nairobi starting today. I know this is not the best of the news for you. But, I would like to share some of my sentiments and the rationale behind this decision," stated the email.
The taxi-hailing company will use the same model on book-a-ride-and-pay formula.
To get the service, users have to download the Nopia Ride mobile app to locate and book vehicles.
The firm's electric cars should afford riders cheaper transport.
The charging bay at @TwoRivers_KE is already up and running. The one at The Hub, Karen will be opened in 2 weeks. #NopiaRide pic.twitter.com/tHKfdHF4U5
- Sam Gitonga (@sagitonga) August 10, 2018
"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."
Nopia's entry into the Kenyan market is jostling for space among the established players by challenging drivers to join their team.
"Would you not like to earn up to 50% more than driving for other ride-hailing companies?" the company poses.
Nopia says that its users will pay using the M-Pesa.
The company which prides itself as a player who cares for the environment joins the Kenyan market when other taxi-hailing operators are having to become innovative to remain profitable.
Some operators like Uber are having to deal with hostile markets where drivers are leaving en masse complaining of poor pay.
To power the vehicles, Nopia has 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 timely in environmental conservation as well as an admirable gesture by the private sector.
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