The motorcycle sector is now the biggest vehicle segment in Kenya. The number of motorcycles registered in 2021 was more than 1.5 times the number of motorcycles registered in 2018! This is impressive growth over the past 6 years. Motorcycle taxi riders, the largest user segment of motorcycles in the country, are constantly battling skyrocketing operations and maintenance costs of internal combustion engine motorcycles, leaving them with very little in terms of earnings and savings.
Electric motorcycles present an opportunity to reduce these costs and hence increase earnings and savings for players in the motorcycle sector. The motorcycle industry in Kenya is ripe for electrification.
The motorcycle sector is now attracting a lot of attention from startups and investors in the tech, automotive, and fintech sectors. There now over 15 startups looking at the energy-as-a-service side (battery swapping companies) as well as the assembly of motorcycles in Kenya. One of the leaders is STIMA. STIMA is a battery swapping technology company targeting the deployment of convenient battery swapping infrastructure for electric motorcycles at scale. STIMA estimates that there are about 20 million two-wheelers on Africa’s roads today. STIMA and India’s leading electric motorcycle manufacturer OneElectric recently announced their partnership to deploy 3,000 rechargeable electric motorcycles in Kenya in a first phase. Thereafter, the joint venture will expand to other African countries.
STIMA has now signed a new partnership with Kenyan vehicle financier Mogo, a part of Eleving Group, and the ride-hailing company Bolt, to increase the spread of electric motorcycles in Kenya on a large scale. STIMA will contribute motorcycles and battery swapping infrastructure to the partnership while Mogo, which already has more than 50,000 active lease-to-own agreements with motorcycle riders, will support lease-to-own plans for riders adopting STIMA-powered electric motorcycles. Bolt will promote electric motorcycles to the fleet of 4,000 riders currently using the Bolt food delivery App, with the objective of transitioning its food delivery fleet to electric. The partnership is set to provide the Kenyan market with a complete transport solution through lease-to-own asset finance, battery swapping technology and ride hailing.
Here are some quotes from the principals speaking on this new partnership:
Jason Gras, Co-Founder and CEO of STIMA, says: “The partnership with Mogo and Bolt contribute to the far-reaching goal of STIMA: to spread the adoption of e-mobility in Kenya and East Africa. By harnessing STIMA’s battery swapping technology, Mogo’s tier one asset financing and Bolt’s legacy in ride hailing, this partnership will put more electric motorcycles on the road.”
Modestas Sudnius, the CEO of Eleving Group, adds: “The future of mobility will be electric. The first steps in educating people about climate-friendly and sustainable decisions must be taken already today, and it is a part of the Group’s mid-term, and long-term strategy. We want to be present in Kenya with innovative products and productive lending. For us, this project contributes to fulfilling our strategic goals in the field of ESG, where we have committed to increasing the number of emission-free vehicles in our portfolio and reducing the carbon footprint arising from it. For our clients, this project will save money on fuel and in maintenance costs. For society in the long run, it will improve the ecological aspects in the cities, such as air quality and reduced noise levels.”
“Bolt Food is delighted to be partnering with STIMA on this initiative as it underpins our commitment to helping couriers earn more whilst encouraging sustainable modes of transportation. Through STIMA, couriers will purchase electric motorcycle bikes, allowing them to save on costs as they are less cost intensive in terms of consumption and maintenance. Through Mogo, they will get ready access to financing, which mitigates the challenge posed by the initial cost of acquisition of the e-bikes. The e-motorcycles will add to our existing greener transport options on our platform, including electric tuk-tuks and e-bicycles. Bolt Food is committed to providing viable economic opportunities to all its courier partners and enhancing customer experience through affordable, reliable and sustainable services,” said Edgar K Kitur, Country Manager, Bolt Food.
Kenya has a big opportunity to take the lead in the electric motorcycle sector on the continent. Kenya’s grid is mostly powered by renewables such as geothermal, wind, hydro, and some utility-scale solar. Those electric motorcycles will be charged using some very clean electricity.
Image from STIMA
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