Kenya Power to convert its 2,000 vehicles to electric over 4 years

FILE PHOTO: Pylons of high-tension electricity power lines are seen at the Olkaria II Geothermal power plant near the Rift Valley town of Naivasha

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's sole power distributor Kenya Power aims to convert its 2,000 petrol and diesel-driven vehicles to electric over the next four years, it said on Tuesday.

The move is part of a rising trend in the East African economy to take advantage of the abundant electricity supply from renewable sources, and switch vehicle and motorcycle engines to electric from fossil fuels.

Kenya Power will phase out its petrol and diesel vehicles by retrofitting electric engines and buying new electric vehicles.

Kenya has installed generation capacity of 3,321 megawatts (MW) against a peak demand of 2,132 MW and off-peak demand of about 1,100 MW, according to Kenya Power.

"Charging electric vehicles especially at night would, therefore, help bridge the gap between off-peak load available generation capacity as well as raise the average demand to above 1,500 MW," it said in a statement.

The company distributes electricity to more than three-quarters of Kenya's population.

($1 = 124.7000 Kenyan shillings)

(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Alexander Winning;Editing by Arun Koyyur)