Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) make up 90% of businesses in Africa. Most of these are essentially offline market places. A number of startups across Africa are working towards connecting and digitizing these small to medium enterprises. The Fin-tech and logistics spaces are therefore getting a lot of attention as startups look to offer small business operators value propositions centered on unlocking efficiencies in these industries, thereby improving revenues and profitability.
Electrification of transport services is one area which is starting to get a lot of attention, especially in the 2-wheeler market. This is because operators stand to save around 50% on operational expenses by switching from ICE to electric motorcycles. Digital fulfillment coupled with new energy efficient electric vehicles are thus poised to transform the MSME sector.
In Ghana, SolarTaxi’s electric motorcycles have been charging up Ghana’s on-demand delivery market. SolarTaxi has also recently partnered with Jumia, an e-commerce firm, to provide affordable and eco-friendly delivery of online orders for its consumers. They have already deployed 20 riders on this service and are looking to grow this number to at least 100 riders with their electric motorcycles very soon.
Electric motorcycle delivery service companies are also growing in other parts of the continent. We have seen TPL on the go in Zimbabwe, and MyFoodness (now Yamee) in Botswana, as well as several others in East and West Africa. Could electric vans also gain significant traction soon? Driveelectric Kenya and Greenspoon’s partnership in Kenya employed Nissan ENV 200 vans, and now META Electric has also started leasing BYD T3 electric vans in Kenya.
Now, SolarTaxi has started SolarCargo, a new delivery service using the Skywell D07 electric van. The Skywell D07 has a 40.3 kWh battery delivering a range of 250 km / 156 miles (NEDC), according to Wattev2Buy. Skywell also guarantees the battery pack of the D07 for 5 years or 200,000 km / 125,000 miles. The Skywell D07’s drivetrain produces 70 kW (94 hp) of power, and 230 Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 100 km/h. SolarTaxi is also selling the Skywell D07 Van in Ghana.
Electric vans with a 200 km range or more are now more accessible and will be a gamechanger in the logistics industry as well as the passenger shuttle service. It is really good to see all the developments in the Ghanaian EV market which will also help drive electricity consumption, bringing the much needed demand for electricity from the utility company. Ghana has recently found itself in an enviable position of having excess electricity generation capacity. The 2019 National Household Electricity Access Rate was 82.5%, so there is no shortage of electricity to charge up the EV revolution. 60% of this electricity though is from thermal power plants. So, it’s really good that SolarTaxi prioritizes solar as its main source of electricity to offset those CO2 emissions from the thermal power plants. Accelerating the adoption of EVs in a bid to displace CO2 emissions across the globe has become very critical as recent studies show the devastating effects air pollution has been having on our lives.
All images courtesy of SolarTaxi