Kenya is currently working to build electric buses. However Tanzania is more likely to supply the vital components that will go under the vehicles’ hoods to power their drivetrains.
Even before electric buses, both Kenya and Tanzania had started to convert Toyota Landcruisers’ 70 Series trucks, being used as Safari vehicles in the tourism industry from fuel guzzling diesel engines to cleaner electric motors.
With the adaptation of greener ways of extraction, Tanzania through the Kabanga Nickel is poised to be among global leaders in the production of valuable components powering electric vehicles worldwide.
Operating from its refinery in Kahama, the Kabanga Nickel establishment is investing in the environmentally friendly Hydrometallurgical Processing Technology.
The Hydrometallurgical Processing Technology (HPT) selectively targets the valuable metals in a concentrate for extraction, with the technology being described to be more cost efficient than smelting.
From the refinery, Tanzania will directly produce and export nickel and other battery metals in high demand to supply the growing demand in the global electric vehicles manufacturing worldwide.
The Kabanga project is owned by Tembo Nickel Corporation, a joint stock company in which the Government of Tanzania commands 16 percent stake. Kabanga Nickel parent firm owns 84 percent of the company shares.
From their website the Kabanga nickel project is defined as a cradle-to-gate mining operation producing Class 1 nickel, cobalt and copper refined metals in Tanzania.
Through the adaptation of hydrometallurgical processing technology which has a significantly lower environmental impact, nickel and other battery metals from Tanzania will be regarded as the best option in the wake of global climate concerns.
“Kabanga’s hydromet process is a game-changer. Traditionally, nickel sulphide deposits require smelting for beneficiation, which has a significantly greater environmental impact. Kabanga will be different, delivering Class 1 nickel on a sustainable basis”.Kabanga Nickel
Meanwhile a Swedish-Kenyan company, Opibus, has also just introduced the first African-designed and manufactured electric bus in Kenya.
Opibus intends to start bringing clean energy to public transportation first in Nairobi, then other Kenyan cities and eventually supply the passengers’ vehicle beyond borders.
As it happens, Opibus was the first company to make electric motorcycles in Kenya.
The firm now plans to launch the electric bus commercially in a few months’ time and later bring vehicles to markets across Africa by 2023.
A study report released in February 2022 by the Institute for Transportation Development Policy (ITDP) and the University of California, Davis, realized the importance of keeping carbon emissions from Africa’s urban transport sector.
According to the release, the initiative will require not only an increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road, but, just as importantly, the establishment of compact cities developed for walking, cycling and public transport.