The electric motorcycle industry in East Africa has been developing nicely over the past 5 years. Several startups have been running pilot programs during that period, including intensive research and development to come up with products suitable for the local conditions, as well as use cases. They have now progressed to commercial production of some of their models after several iterations, having incorporated learnings from these pilot programs. They are now at the point where they are starting to scale up this commercial production.
One of the best ways of doing this is leveraging the existing ecosystem that includes traditional auto assembly companies and their talent pool. A lot of the traditional auto assembly companies on the African continent have spare capacity that can be utilized to quickly ramp up production of new models. Therefore, strategic partnerships between electric mobility firms and these traditional motor vehicle assembly plants can provide a pathway for emobility firms to quickly scale up production. Of course, it is a win-win situation for both parties, as the assembly plants can increase their factory capacity utilization, unlocking efficiencies as well as increasing revenue streams.
Powerhive is one of the pioneering firms in Kenya’s electric mobility sector. Powerhive has been a leader in the realm of solar-powered mini-grids and is now ramping up its activities in the electric vehicle industry. In 2019, Powerhive was the first company to pilot electric motorcycles in Kenya. Building on this landmark initiative, the company has continued to drive forward, currently advancing the third generation of the Spark Electric Motorcycle. The company’s strides in the EV space reflect a vision for a cleaner, greener future while pioneering accessible, efficient, and sustainable mobility solutions for communities in Kenya.
Powerhive has just unveiled a strategic collaboration with Mobius Motors, a renowned vehicle manufacturing partner based in Kenya. This partnership marks a significant milestone in Powerhive’s ongoing efforts to advance the sustainable mobility landscape across the region. Mobius Motors designs, manufactures, assembles, and sells vehicles for the African mass market.
The flagship Mobius III is the third generation model of their locally assembled 4×4 SUV. The Mobius IIIC is an internal combustion engine vehicle. Mobius Motors is now moving into e-mobility with the assembly of electric two-wheelers and is working toward a hybrid vehicle specifically designed for Africa. Mobius Motors is also based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Powerhive says the cornerstone of this partnership is the establishment of a dedicated bonded warehouse within the Mobius Motors facility, designed for the exclusive assembly of Powerhive’s Spark Electric Motorcycles and capable of producing up to 150 Spark bikes per factory shift. This development aligns seamlessly with Powerhive’s mission to revolutionize clean and efficient transportation options, facilitating a more accessible and eco-conscious future for riders.
“As the only licensed utility in the Kenyan EV landscape, our strength is in the energy side of battery swapping. Our partnership with Mobius enables us to focus on scaling the premier battery swapping network across East Africa,” states Christopher Hornor, Powerhive’s CEO.
Together, these two companies are working to streamline the production of Spark motorcycles while substantially extending their presence in Kenya and beyond.
Powerhive adds that this collaboration reinforces Powerhive’s dedication to local manufacturing, supporting the Kenyan economy while harnessing supply chain efficiencies and capital efficiencies. Powerhives’ capital-light approach to manufacturing empowers them to prioritize the expansion of the charging network and further development of advanced battery technology. The partnership between Powerhive and Mobius Motors is poised to bring a host of benefits, including improved availability and accessibility of Spark Electric Motorcycles, thus significantly contributing to the growth of sustainable mobility solutions in the region.
Nicolas Guibert, CEO of Mobius Motors, says, “Mobius Motors have developed a great facility and are proud to partner with Powerhive as they move the Boda Boda business with a clean electric solution. We are offering the best of our resources and experiences to give them an edge in the market with the best-in-class assembly quality and technical support in their Aftersales operations. Mobius Motors intends to become a major player of African sustainable mobility. Congratulations to Powerhive and thank you for choosing us!”
As the partnership between Powerhive and Mobius Motors evolves, it undoubtedly paves the way for a more sustainable and efficient future in transportation, not only in Kenya but also in the broader region. These are the types of smart partnerships that are going to help take the electric mobility sector on the continent to the next level. We have an interview with Powerhive and will find out more about their electric motorcycle and share more details on the specs, their progress, and plans for Kenya and the region.
Image courtesy of Powerhive
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