Uber introduces electric motorbike service in Kenya, marking its first in Africa, as part of its global goal to achieve an emissions-free platform by 2040.
- Kagiso Khaole, Uber’s GM for sub-Saharan Africa, reveals plans for a potential expansion of the service to other markets in the region later this year.
- The initial rollout in Kenya will consist of 3,000 electric bikes, approximately 20% of Uber’s fleet, with the aim of enhancing sustainability and reducing operating costs for drivers.
- Users of the platform can expect to pay 15-20% less for an Electric Boda (Swahili term for motorbike taxi) compared to a regular Uber motorbike trip, while drivers will experience a 30-35% decrease in operating costs.
- The electric bikes offer benefits such as reduced vibrations and noise, contributing to a smoother and quieter ride experience.
- Kenya, with its focus on renewable energy and positioning as a green transport leader in Africa, has seen significant growth in electric vehicles, with plans to increase the number of electric motorbikes on the road from 2,000 to over 200,000 by the end of 2024.
- The lack of adequate electric charging infrastructure and associated equipment has been a hurdle for the electric vehicle market in Africa, but local companies are addressing this challenge by establishing battery-swapping stations in major cities like Nairobi.