Electric vehicle (EV) taxi company NopeaRide has announced plans to exit the Kenyan market due to tough economic challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
EkoRent Africa, the company behind Nopea has filed for insolvency in Kenyan courts with a hearing date set for December 13, 2022.
The Finnish-founded mobility firm has notified its staff and corporate clients of its intention to quit the East African market.
“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,” EkoRent CEO and founder Juha Suojanen said.
“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 the law.”
NopeaRide service was first launched in Kenya in August of 2018 (under the name NopiaRide) by EkoRent founded in 2014.
It began with a small minimum viable product in Nairobi with only 3 electric vehicles and 2 chargers before growing its fleet and charging network the following year.
Towards the end of 2019, Nopea received new funding and placed orders for additional electric vehicles and chargers.
“Unfortunately, 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,” Suojanen stated.
“Those rules lead to daily kilometers driven by Nopea vehicles dropping approximately 60% overnight. The timing of these additional Nopea vehicles arriving in Kenya could not have been much worse.”