Opibus began as a research initiative at one of Sweden’s leading technical universities in 2017. Its objective has always been to bring electric mobility to new markets. Because Kenya is the fastest growing country in Sub-Saharan Africa, Swedish co-founders Filip Gardler, Filip Lövström, and Mikael Gnge chose there as the location for Opibus’ headquarters. Furthermore, Kenya already generates over 86 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
The creators believed they could focus on making items that were specific to the region, with an emphasis on quality, pricing, and local production. Kenya is also seeing an increase in the number of second-hand vehicle imports, thus electric conversions are a no-brainer. Trucks, buses, and other fleet vehicles can be given a new lease of life by combining current chassis with electrified technology.
Albin Wilson, Opibus’s chief marketing officer, and strategy spoke with Electrek on the possibilities for a variety of electric transportation niches in Africa:
Everyone is currently stationed in Kenya. The company’s idea is to function and operate in the markets that it serves. As a result, Opibus conducts all of its operations, administration, and design in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.
Here are some of the electric technologies Opibus is deploying in Kenya before expanding across Africa.
Everyone is currently stationed in Kenya. The company’s idea is to develop and operate in the markets that it serves. As a result, Opibus conducts all of its operations, administration, and design in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Here are some of the electric technologies Opibus is installing in Kenya before expanding across Africa. Opibus’ electric conversion of old ICE vehicles in Kenya is one of the company’s first items to hit the market. This currently contains the first electric mining vehicle built in Africa.
Mining vehicle powered by electricity
Opibus announced the electric mining truck in July 2021, which is based on a Toyota Land Cruiser with an electric powertrain upgrade. Because batteries require a lot of rare earth elements, mining is a key aspect of electric vehicle production right now.
Naturally, an electrified mining strategy minimizes carbon emissions while also completing the loop by employing cleaner energy to acquire resources for more energy.
Safari cars that run on electricity
Opibus has also designed an EV for African safaris, in addition to the completely electric Land Cruiser for mining. In addition, Opibus can turn the Land Rover Defender SUV into a fully electric vehicle.
Opibus has its goals set on the commercial fleet electrification in addition to having to clean up utility vehicles in Africa. In Nairobi, it is actively converting 51-seat public transportation buses. The buses would be the first of their sort in Africa if they are successfully launched.
Opibus electric motorcycles
Opibus has built its electric motorcycle from the ground up, in contrast to previous utility vehicle conversions to electric powertrains. It was the first of its sort in Africa once again.
Energy storage solutions (ESS)
In addition to transforming and developing electric cars, Opibus is on a quest to offer Africa the green charging infrastructure required to support its clients. This includes battery storage and charging systems that can be fuelled by both the grid as well as solar panels.
The future of Opibus
Looking ahead, Opibus is committed to powering all of Africa, ensuring that the continent’s next generation enjoys a clean, renewable energy-based future that is also accessible to all. While the corporation is looking into future cars and electrified sections, it is still realistic about the scalability process.