Yesterday [09/10/2018] electric mobility company EkoRent Africa launched Nopia Ride, a full electric mobility service in Nairobi, Kenya. “We have now launched our zero-emission electric transportation service pilot in Nairobi,” reads a statement on their website.
Joining a highly competitive industry, Nopia is employing the same book-ride-and-pay formula. Users will download the Nopia Ride mobile app to locate and book vehicles.
Guys! Finally Nopia Ride is here. Come to @TwoRivers_KE tomorrow, to get a free ride or drive and experience the new electric car! It's a plan guys!#electricvehicles#economic#sharingeconomy#solarenergy#rideclean#weekendvibes pic.twitter.com/i9C1O6QExb— Nopia Ride (@NopiaRide) August 10, 2018
The firm rates their vehicles as "100% electric and good for our planet". Adding that, "they are 30-50% cheaper to operate [for drivers] than traditional polluting gasoline cars."
This implies that even the cost of riding should be cheaper for those that will opt to use the service. The ride-hailing company says that it allows its users to make payments using M-Pesa Xpress functionality. This allows the riders to clear their trip bills digitally instead of using cash.
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The Kenyan ride-hailing market already has existing players in the names of Uber, Taxify, Mondo Ride and Little Cab.
Nopia will have to fend these off in order to thrive in the market. Though the company says that its service should be the best alternative for those seeking cab services because they "aim to reach zero pollution levels."
“We care about the environment. Therefore, all our Nopia vehicles are non-polluting electric cars. By choosing Nopia, you help to reduce harmful emissions and to improve the air quality around you,” the company further adds.
Nopia Charging Bays will be available around Nairobi for easy recharging of the vehicles. This is the first fully electric ride-hailing service in East Africa and is an inspiration for African development.
Nopia is a product of Finnish company EkoRent. Headquartered in Helsinkin, Finland, and founded in 2014, EkoRent has raised at least €458,400 in funding according to their CrunchBase profile. €170,900 of that was raised in 2016 through an equity from an equity crowdfunding round.