Pictures-courtesy of Vaya Africa

Vaya Africa, a subsidiary of telecom giant Strive Masyiwa's Econet Group, has launched an electric vehicle service in Zimbabwe in a bid to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel run vehicles.

"We are excited to launch the ‘Vaya Electric’ vehicle as we start our journey of deploying innovative ways of harnessing clean, renewable energy to provide safe and convenient transportation services to the public on the African continent,” said Dorothy Zimuto, chief executive officer of Vaya Mobility.

“Electric vehicles have zero emissions and our aim is to ensure that all vehicles we have on the Vaya platform in the next ten years are electric vehicles.”

Zimuto said the benefits of the use of electric vehicles are less frequent services and fewer scheduled vehicle maintenance check-ins than ordinary combustion engines.

"They will require minimal scheduled maintenance for their electrical systems, such as the battery and electrical motors. Other parts such as brakes also last longer because of their regenerative braking systems, where the battery is charged when breaking,” she said.

The southern African nation is grappling with power outages that can last up to sixteen hours a day due to low water levels in Lake Kariba, its main source of power.

Vaya Africa, a Mauritius-registered Transportation as a service company, has patterned with Ugesi Energy, a subsidiary of Econet Global, that has built solar and grid-tied charging stations across the country.

The innovation is set to be rolled out throughout the continent beginning with East and West Africa. The fleet includes passenger vehicles, motorbikes, vans, buses and dump trucks. Vaya Africa, Zimbabwe's largest hail riding service platform, is using Nissan Leaf electric vehicles as part of its fleet.

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