Chinese manufacturers of new energy vehicle parts shine at Kenyan Expo

(Xinhua) 11:17, July 04, 2024

NAIROBI, July 3 (Xinhua)--Frigid weather notwithstanding, visitors to the Auto Expo Africa 2024, that opened on Wednesday in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital were attracted by the sleek electric two-wheelers displayed by Zhejiang Varchea E-mobility Co. Ltd.

Kevin Rui, the firm's chief executive officer meticulously engaged a battery of potential clients keen to learn about the process of importing and assembling components of the electrified motorcycles, bicycles and vehicles that have gained traction in Kenya.

Rui said Zhejiang Varchea E-mobility Co. Ltd has mainly focused on production of critical components like batteries, speedometers and chargers that are required to sustain green mobility globally, with a special focus on Africa.

"We believe that electric vehicles have a huge opportunity in Africa because they are cheaper. For countries like Kenya, power is efficient and people can use electric vehicles and save money," Rui said.

In the Kenyan market, Varchea has already introduced electric motorcycles that are popular with delivery workers and riders commonly referred to as "BodaBoda", amid guarantee of cheaper maintenance, Rui said.

During the Auto Expo that runs from July 3-6, Rui said he looked forward to forging partnerships with local distributors to raise the visibility of his company's flagship brands including electric scooters, vehicles and two-wheelers.

Running concurrently with the 11th Oil & Gas Africa 2024, the Auto Expo Africa, now in its 25th edition has attracted exhibitors from over 30 countries including China to showcase auto spare parts, tyres, batteries, lubricants and signage products.

Sunkar Hu, the sales commercial director at Votol/Varchea, an electric mobility components and vehicle manufacturer, said the four-day expo that is expected to attract over 4,000 visitors offers an opportunity to establish long-term partnership with local distributors and clients.

According to Hu, his company's presence in the Kenyan market for nearly five years has revolutionized green mobility through enhanced access to components for producing high-performing two and three-wheelers.

While acknowledging rapid growth of electric mobility in the Kenyan market, Hu said he looked forward to engaging more with local entrepreneurs and gain better insight on demand and supply dynamics.

James Sadera, a technical engineer with Riders Kenya Limited who visited several Chinese manufacturers of electric vehicle parts at the Auto Expo observed the country is on the cusp of green mobility revolution, powered by Chinese technology.

Sadera said that Kenyan start-ups are keen to leverage partnership with China, scale up consumer awareness in their bid to promote electric mobility in line with the East African Nation's net zero targets.

For Kenya to leapfrog to mass green transportation, Sadera observed, the government should invest in supportive infrastructure like charging stations and local assembly plants.

Cherry Tu, the sales manager of Xiamen Songli New Energy Technology Co. Ltd, a lithium batteries manufacturer based in China's Fujian Province said that her firm looked forward to enlarging its footprint in Africa's nascent green mobility sector.

Tu said that during the Auto Expo in Nairobi, she planned to engage with more local partners and raise the visibility of her company's flagship batteries for powering electric vehicles and two-wheelers.

According to Tu's assessment, the African market presents huge opportunities for Chinese manufacturers of new energy vehicle components subject to placing emphasis on affordability and quality.

Elijah Oduor, the executive officer of Electric Mobility Association of Kenya, an umbrella body for green mobility players, said the country has been able to navigate the shift to low carbon transportation, thanks to availability of high-performing two-wheelers and vehicles manufactured in China.

"Chinese manufactured two wheelers and three wheelers so far available in the market are the most reliable," Oduor said, adding that Kenya should tap into Chinese innovation and technologies to enhance competitiveness of locally assembled new energy vehicles.

Celeste Vogel, the founder and chief executive officer of eWAKA, a Nairobi-based electric mobility start-up said that for Africa's green mobility to thrive, a seamless connection with Chinese manufacturers of critical parts and other players in the supply chain is crucial.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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