Kenya’s first ever Electric Vehicle (EV) taxi company NopeaRide has announced plans to exit the Kenyan market.
According to Capital FM, EkoRent Africa, the parent company of Nopea filed for an insolvency in the High Court with the hearing date set for December 13, 2022.
Meanwhile, the company has informed its corporate clients and staff the intention of ending business in Kenya.
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Nopea has recalled it’s fleet of electric vehicles from Kenyan roads.
“We are sad to announce that the company behind NopeaRide taxi hailing service, EkoRent Africa, has filed for insolvency in the Kenyan courts. A hearing date has been set for 13th of December 2022
“We have taken our fleet of electric vehicles off the road and have notified our staff and corporate clients. We are now working with relevant authorities to ensure that our operations are wound up in accordance with law,” EkoRent CEO and founder Juha Suojanen said.
The exit was attributed to effects brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many of the additional vehicles arrived in Nairobi at just about the same time when the strict Covid-19 curfew rules were put in place in March 2020
“Those rules lead to daily kilometers driven by Nopea vehicles dropping approximately 60% over night. The timing of these additional Nopea vehicles arriving in Kenya could not have been much worse,” Suojanen added.
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At the same time, EkoRent went into insolvency in Finland and was unable to secure additional financing to grow the business in Nairobi to the next level.
NopeaRide was first launched in Kenya in August of 2018 under the name NopiaRide by EkoRent, a Finnish company founded in 2014.
The taxi hailing company started with a small minimum viable product in Nairobi with only 3 electric vehicles and 2 chargers.