Taxi Hailing service and Electric Mobility Nopea Ride has announced that it would be halting its operations within Kenya. The company states that this is a ripple effect after its major shareholder EkoRent Oy, declared insolvency in Finland. InfraCo Africa Limited the minority shareholder has now filed for the liquidation of EkoRent Africa Limited in the High Court of Kenya. The court set a hearing date for the liquidation petition on 13th December 2022.
NopeaRide entered the Kenyan market as NopiaRide in the year 2018 vide its parent company EkoRent Oy. The company operated fully electric cars and in particular the Nissan Leaf. It was among the first companies to operate fully electric vehicles in Kenya. Over the years, the company expanded after receiving funding. It placed orders for additional electric vehicles and chargers.
With the onset of the Corona Virus in 2020, the company like many others suffered great economic loss. It was around this time that the vehicles ordered had been delivered. Some of the interventions placed by the Government to mitigate the spread of the virus really affected it which was made worse by the fact that movement was greatly restricted.
The company added more vehicles and charging ports in the year 2021 with the prospects of economic recovery after the infection rate of the Corona Virus significantly went down. Although the company showed signs of recovery in 2021, it still did not reach its optimum potential that it had hoped.
NopeaRide started the year 2022 on a high note. It had partnered with a local technology and research university and signed an agreement to build a Solar Charging Port for Nopea electric vehicles with an option for electric BodaBoda (eBoda) battery swap stations. However, the electric bodaboda concept failed to take off.
With EkoRent OY, NopeaRide’s parent company going into insolvency in Finland, it is unable to secure additional financing to grow the business in Kenya. By 28th November 2022, NopeaRide had imported 70 Nopea electric vehicles to Kenya that had driven more than 4 000 000 kilometers by June 2022 saving over 650 tons of CO2 emissions. NopeaRide also operated the largest electric vehicle charging network in East Africa. By the time of publishing this article, the NopeaRide app was not available on Google Store.