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Bolt, ROAM and M-KOPA rollout 5,000 electric motorcycles in Kenya

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Bolt and M-KOPA, have today launched an electric bike fleet in Kenya to allow new and existing drivers an opportunity to lease electric motorbikes at a discounted price.

The 5,000 electric motorcycle rollout aligns with the recent launch of Kenya’s National E-mobility Policy, aimed at promoting local production and assembly of EVs.

According to Caroline Wanjihia, Regional Director, Ride Hailing Operations, Africa & International Markets, “By leveraging electric vehicles, we are not only reducing our environmental footprint, but also aim to enhance driver earnings and improve overall economic stability within the communities that we serve.”

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The deal saw M-KOPA , as the financier, ROAM and Ampersand as the manufacturers of electric motorbikes and Bolt, as the implementing mobility partner, give riders access to electric bikes for as low as KES 10,000- 15,000, through pay-as-you-go terms.

David Damberger, Managing Director – M-KOPA Mobility, added: “We have made substantial inroads since launching our Mobility division in 2022, in collaboration with ROAM and Ampersand. With over 2 million motorbikes navigating Kenya’s roads, now is the time for us to extend our reach, as we set to positively impact the environment significantly by reducing carbon emissions and saving on fuel costs—an essential keystone of Kenya’s sustainable development.”

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Bolt says this move will help its drivers save approximately 40% savings in total ownership costs compared to petrol motorbikes. With reduced energy and maintenance expenditures, drivers can potentially decrease their vehicle operating costs by up to 75%.

Bolt’s competitor, Uber in August 2023, announced its Uber Electric Boda fleet in partnership with Greenwheels Africa, the company that manages the fleet, charging stations, and rider support. The firm promised to have 3,000 electric bikes with swappable batteries with quick charging power that ensures minimal downtime for riders. Uber’s Electric motorcycles in Kenya, dubbed “One Electric,” are not just in Kenya but are part of the firm’s commitment towards going green.

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Recently, Kenyan-based electric mobility pioneer, Roam raised $24 million Series A funding to expand its local manufacturing capabilities, scale up production at the new 10,000 sqm Roam Park facility, investing in research and tooling for cost efficiencies, and streamlining local and global supply chain networks. To date, the company has managed to capture or mitigate over 120,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, marking a significant milestone in its commitment to innovative electric transport solutions.

“Our at-home and portable charging options, extensive Roam Hub service network, and dual battery system empower delivery riders to increase efficiency without worrying about battery depletion.  Through this strategic partnership with Bolt, we’re not only promoting sustainability but also cutting operational costs remarkably for Boda riders, making a meaningful impact where it matters most, and creating a better future for all,” said Mikael Gånge, CCO, ROAM.

Since 2019, Bolt has been mitigating its environmental impact by investing in projects primarily focused on renewable energy and resource conservation. In 2021, Bolt introduced a new ride category on its platform dubbed Bolt Green which offers eco-friendly rides as the company moves towards reducing its ecological footprint in Nairobi. The category has hybrid and electric cars with minimal to zero emissions.

Bolt will initially deploy the electric bikes in Nairobi, with plans for expansion in the near future.

Josh Whale, Founder & CEO Ampersand E-Mobility Kenya added: “We thank Bolt and M-KOPA for their enthusiasm and confidence in our market-leading electric vehicles and energy network.  The collaboration between Bolt, M-KOPA and Ampersand is a significant step forward for the ride-hailing and delivery industry in Kenya. Our partnership with Bolt will lead the industry forward by adopting the most commercially scalable structure for E-Mobility and energy providers that we’ve encountered.”

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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakobahttp://techmoran.com
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs  TechMoran.com, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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