Growing levels of pollution and lowering levels of non-renewable sources have opened several discussions about switching to electric vehicles (cars) in Kenya.
While green mobility is desired by the Kenyan government, one of the major hurdles that is keeping the use of electric cars low is the lack of public charging infrastructure.
In order to improve the charging infrastructure of electric cars and make way for people to begin their own electric car charging business, the government has delicensed the setting up of charging stations.
This means that any individual or entity can meet the regulations and specifications that have been laid out by the government.
If you would like to make a change in the environment and you are passionate about sustainability and about electrical engineering, this might just be the right business opportunity for you to look at.
As electric cars keep on gaining popularity, starting an electric car charging business in Kenya will be a wise thing to do.
What’s an Electric Car Charging Station?
An electric car charging station is a piece of equipment that connects an electric car to a source of electricity to recharge electric cars.
An electric charging station is also called an electric recharging point, charging point or charge point.
Charging stations have connectors that can access multiple electric cars, almost at the same time.
The connection system is able to detect and disconnect power when the electric car is not charging.
Advantages of Electric Car Charging
The Kenyan government is excited to change the mobility system from internal combustion to electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles have been beneficial in the following ways.
- Electric cars are environmentally friendly since they do not emit any harmful gases into the atmosphere, which cause air pollution.
- Electric cars are less expensive to maintain
- They require least maintenance
- They are quieter than internal combustion cars.
- Electricity is renewable; gasoline
Disadvantages of Electric Car Charging
Some of the cons of using electric cars include:
- Electric cars have shorter range than internal combustion cars
- Electric cars are expensive to buy because of the complex technology and expensive hardware used.
- It is difficult to find charging stations, due to the intense infrastructure.
- It may take some time to charge the battery. Some batteries are slow charging, which means a lot of time is wasted.
- There are not so many model options
How to Start an Electric Car Charging Station Business in Kenya
In order to start your own electric car charging station business in Kenya, you may want to do the following things first, for your business to progress.
- Conduct market research and identify the type of charger you want to install.
Electric car charging stations have extremely complex hardware and software installation services, operations and maintenance. You need to research who it is you are trying to service and what they want. Are you serving trucks or electric cars in 2 wheelers or 3 wheelers? Depending on that, the specification of the charges will be set up for putting up these charging stations.
- Identify your market.
Look for areas with a high number of electric cars. Where there is the maximum usage of electric cars around your vicinity means that’s where your customers are for your business. This will help you build the right environment for your electric car charging business.
- Connect and partner with an electric car charger manufacturer.
Make relationships with people who manufacture electric car chargers. Notable manufacturers include Tesla, Delta Electronics amongst others. You can also be adventurous enough to do it yourself, but it can take much longer than a year or more to find the right hardware and technology needs.
- Get local certifications from authorities.
Before you launch your electric car business, get licenses and clearances from the government. While setting up your electric car charging station does not require any license, every county has different power compliance. Be in touch with a power supplier and fix the electricity rates. The government puts up some minimum requirements for the set up of an electric car charging station in Kenya. These include:
- Appropriate and good quality civil work.
- An exclusive transformer with all related substation equipment, including safety appliances.
- 33/11 kV cables with associated equipment for line termination or metering.
- Adequate space to not only install the charger, but also for easy entry and exit of vehicles from the charging station.
- The charging station must have electricity kiosks with installation of the following charger models.
- Faster chargers; CCS (min 50kW), Type- 2AC (min 22kW) , CHAdeMo (min 50kW)
2. Slow or moderate chargers; Bharat AC
- Partner with at least one network service provider to enable online booking at charging slots.
- Data collected should be shared with distribution companies and their business should follow set protocols
- Inspection and clearance by concerned electric personnel assigned by the distribution company.
- Public charging stations can also offer standalone battery swapping facilities if conditions allow.
These are some of the important considerations you will have to look at if you are setting up an electric car charging station business in Kenya.
Note: It will not be required if it is a private use electric car charging station.
When starting your electric car charging business, you have to put into consideration your starting and operating costs. Costs incurred in starting an electric car charging business include installation costs and maintenance costs, local certification costs, electricity and manpower costs. This will help you plan your finances and prepare a budget that will cater for all these starting costs.
20+ Questions About Starting an Electric Charging Station Business in Kenya
- Are electric car charging stations profitable?
2. How much does it cost to start an electric car charging station in Kenya?
3. How do I start an electric car charging station?
4. Is it free to charge your electric vehicle?
5. What power do you need to charge an electric vehicle?
6. Can I install my own electric vehicle charger?
7. Do electric cars charge while driving?
8. Can I charge my electric car in the rain?
9. Do charging stations charge money?
10. Are electric cars worth buying?
11. How long does it take for electric cars to fully charge?
12. What happens when electric cars run out of charge?
13. Are electric cars worth it?
14. What are the disadvantages of electric cars?
15. How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
16. What are the main problems with electric cars?
17. Why should we switch to electric cars?
18. Is an electric car good for long-distance?
19. How long do electric cars last?
20. Do electric cars need servicing?
21. How much do electric charging stations cost?
22. What maintenance does an electric car need?
23. What maintenance does an electric car need?
24. What are the best companies that make electric vehicle charging stations?
25. Should I as a Kenyan investor start an electric vehicle charging station?
Although we haven’t adopted the use of electric cars, starting an electric car charging station is a lucrative business opportunity in Kenya.
The government is excited to implement electric cars, mostly because of environmental conservation.
In fact, it is estimated that in 2030, a bigger percentage of the cars in Kenya will be electric cars. Although this seems quite far-fetched, it is possible that with the growing number of electric vehicles on the road, we might get there.
Investing in an electric car charging business will therefore be a smarter thing to do now.
Starting an electric car charging station business means understanding or relearning cars.
Don’t focus on the charging alone, there is maintenance/servicing of the electric cars, repairs because anything man-made needs constant repairs.
You can also begin an automatic electric car wash to help maximise the profits.
KPLC declared that they will jump into the business of installing electric charging stations all over the country. Don’t wait for KPLC to beat you to the game.
Are you an enthusiast of new technology and how this new technology that’s electric cars is transforming Kenya or will transform us?
The earlier you adapt to technology like electric cars, the earlier you cash in because you make your mistakes faster, fail forward and keep moving.
Are you interested in beginning an electric car charging station business in Kenya? What’s holding you back?
What are you waiting for? Or are you an entrepreneur cashing in on your electric car charging station?
What have you learned and keep learning about electric cars and your electric car charging station business?