There are a lot of exciting projects taking shape in Kenya’s electric mobility and clean cooking sectors. On the electric mobility side of things, the electric motorcycle sector is developing quite nicely and has been one of the key focus areas for many startups, along with the electric bus sector.
One of the players that has been leading the charge to get Kenya’s electric motorcycle going electric is Ecobodaa. Ecobodaa recently launched the latest version of its electric motorcycle, the Umeme 3000. Here is a summary of the new Umeme 3000 electric motorcycle’s specs:
Battery Capacity: 3.24 kWh
Charge time: Charging time: 4.5 hours (200-240V AC)
Chemistry: Lithium-ion NMC high grade cells
Cycles: 1000 at 100% SoC, 1500 at 80% SoC (4 years of daily use)
Swappable: Yes, the Umeme 3000 has slots for 2 x 3.24 kWh battery packs
Range: 80 km (Avg. speed of 55kph with passenger — 90kg), Dual battery range: 160km
Battery pack weight: 20kg per pack
Ecobodaa’s battery management systems also incorporate PAYGO functionality. The battery can only be used upon purchase of tokens as well as real-time monitoring of battery health through IoT.
Rating: 3 kW mid-drive motor (with chain)
Ingress Protection: IP67 Waterproof
Operating Temperature: Up to 150 degrees Celsius
Efficiency: 92% efficiency
Top Speed: 120kph (programmable up to 150kph)
There is also a lot of activity on the cleaner cooking side as many people in Kenya still rely on firewood and charcoal for cooking and there is an urgent need to transition to cleaner cooking fuels. One of the companies that is working to provide a cleaner cooking solution is Ecosafi. Ecosafi has 5 outlets in Nairobi’s low income settlements and is expanding rapidly. In an example of the awesome synergies that can help propel Kenya’s clean energy sector, Ecobodaa has partnered with Ecosafi for last mile deliveries of Ecosafi’s cooking pellets.
The partnership is starting with 5 Ecobodaas, 1 for each Ecosafi each outlet, deployed for last-mile delivery of clean cooking pellets to customers. Ecosafi piloted several electric motorcycles before settling on Ecobodaa
“This partnership goes to show that Ecobodaa has built a product that addresses the market needs in terms of quality and functionality,” says Ecobodaa CEO Kimosop Chepkoit.
Ecobodaa retains ownership of the batteries and earns a monthly subscription fee and in turn is responsible for battery maintenance. This is a model that helps to lower the barriers to entry for firms looking to acquire electric motorcycles. The battery remains the most expensive component of electric motorcycles and this monthly subscription model allows firms to get these electric bikes at prices close to parity with equivalent ICE motorcycles. However, electric motorcycles have the advantage of lower operational costs.
A 2015 study by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC, now called the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, or EPRA) on the Global Fuel Economy Initiative Study in Kenya (GFEI), cites that emissions from motorcycles of less than 150 cc are about 46.5 g/km of CO2. The average annual distance covered by motorcycles is around 17,800 km. With the number of ICE motorcycles sold in Kenya growing rapidly, a rapid transition to electric is needed to reduce these tailpipe emissions. With Kenya’s grid mostly powered by renewables such as wind, geothermal, hydro, and some utility-scale solar, these electric motorcycles will be powered by some very clean electricity.
Images courtesy of Ecosafi and Ecobodaa
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