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Kenyan hospitality industry joins the e-movement early

Special Reports

Kenyan hospitality industry joins the e-movement early

Friday July 28 2023

Power supply for electric car charging. PHOTO | POOL

Kenya's hospitality industry has taken a giant leap by embracing electric vehicles (EVs) for guest transfers. An hotel fleet manager in the country recently launched a fleet of electric cars, making them the first hospitality logistics provider in Africa to lead the electric revolution in the region.

By adopting electric vehicles for guest transfers, hotels have taken a proactive step in minimising their environmental impact. Electric cars produce zero tailpipe emissions, resulting in cleaner air and a reduction in greenhouse gases. This eco-friendly approach aligns with the country's sustainability goals, making Kenya a frontrunner in green transport in Africa.

With fuel prices surging nearly 85 percent over the last five years, the Kenyan hospitality industry faced significant operational challenges. The rising fuel costs put tremendous pressure on hotels' profit margins, forcing them to innovate to reduce expenses while conserving the environment.

They report substantial benefits of transitioning to electric vehicles. With significantly reduced operational fuel costs, profit margins have grown and they have also attracted eco-conscious travellers.

Joe Murai, Director of HBT, expressed optimism about the positive impact of electric transport on hotels. "Embracing electric vehicles is not just a sustainable move; it's a smart business decision. Guests appreciate our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, and it has positively affected our bottom line," he said.

Kenya possesses an incredible advantage in leading the electric revolution, given that a staggering 93 percent of its energy comes from renewable sources. This abundant availability of green energy makes the country a perfect candidate for embracing EVs and establishing a sustainable transport system.

Aram Laloui, an entrepreneur and thought leader in building sustainable communities, emphasised the potential of Kenya to lead the electric revolution in Africa. "With our abundant green energy resources, we have a unique advantage to become pioneers in sustainable transport. Let's seize this opportunity to shape a greener future for our country and the entire continent," Laloui said.

To bolster the adoption of sustainable transport, Kenya can play a pivotal role by introducing tax breaks and incentives for electric vehicle purchases, similar to what Rwanda has done.

To ensure the success of the electric revolution, the Kenyan government can also take the lead in building a robust network of charging stations. This would allay anxiety concerns and support businesses and individuals transitioning to EVs.

Martin Murungi, an expert in transport logistics, highlighted the efficiency of fixed-route electric transportation, saying, "Fixed routes and electric vehicles have streamlined our operations, reducing costs, and ultimately making our hotel partners more competitive".

As hotels spearhead the electric revolution, Kenya sets an inspiring example for the rest of Africa and the world. By reducing fuel costs, benefiting the environment, and meeting the demands of eco-conscious travellers, the country's hospitality industry demonstrates advantages of EVs.

Onyango is a writer and an EV enthusiast