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Electric bus starts operating in the streets of Nairobi

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Electric buses have arrived in the streets of Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

The first electric bus was delivered by Swedish-Kenyan tech firm Opibus and is already in operation.

Many passengers feel it's a more confortable experience altogether.

"It is just silent, no rattling noise. Then there is no smoke, then when you get in, it is so stable and there are no vibrations like we are used to on public service buses. The bus is just nice, the electric bus is good", said passenger Elizabeth Maweu.

For drivers, it's also a more positive experience particularly when compared to traditional diesel combustion engine vehicles.

"As a driver, you have peace of mind because you are not exposed to any vibrations and noise that is synonymous with diesel engines, especially from a big bus like this one. This bus is very silent" commented bus driver Benjamin Maina.

Aside from silence and confort, reduced costs and service also make it more profitable and an attractive business proposition for other drivers.

"If you get 1,500 Kenya shillings, take 1,000 for fuel, and on a trip you will be left with 500. But this electric one will be more profitable because it will cost 200 Kenya shillings to charge, of which even in an off peak trip of 50 Kenya Shillings, you will be able to make at least 1,000 profit in a trip" concluded bus driver Timothy Musembi.

Environmental scientists are hopeful that the success of projects like this one will help to reduce carbon emissions in Kenya.

"As we move to an innovation where we are adopting electrical buses, where there is zero emission of fossil fuels, this is a great milestone in not only reducing, but really addressing how we live our lives in a way that is more sustainable", said Victor Boiyo, an environmental scientist at Africa Nazarene University.

At the COP26 climate change summit last year, world leaders agreed targets for reducing carbon emissions, with the aim of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).

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