Kenya Introduces Nationwide Electric Bike Initiative


On Friday, the Kenyan administration disclosed its strategy to introduce electric motorbikes nationwide.

President William Ruto, in collaboration with the African startup Spiro, made this announcement just a few days before the inaugural Africa Climate Summit, set to take place in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, the following week.

President Ruto highlighted that approximately two million motorbikes, predominantly known as “boda bodas” or two-wheeler taxis, are currently operational in Kenya, a mode of transport prevalent throughout Africa.

Ruto emphasized the significance of transitioning to electric mobility, stating it’s a crucial step to tackle issues related to pollution, health concerns, and escalating fuel expenses. He further mentioned Kenya’s ambition to eliminate motorbikes powered by traditional combustion engines gradually. He cautioned about the rising usage of such vehicles across Africa, noting its potential detrimental impact on climate change and air purity.

Despite Africa’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions being a mere 2-3%, the continent faces a disproportionate brunt of climate change effects, as the UN Environment Program reported.

Spiro revealed its achievements in introducing nearly 10,000 electric bikes in various African nations, including Benin, Togo, Rwanda, and Uganda. The startup also announced its intention to establish 3,000 battery charging and exchange stations in Kenya, adding to the 350 stations across Africa. Their vision encompasses the potential deployment of over a million electric vehicles in Kenya.

President Ruto, who has been an active advocate for African initiatives against climate change, expressed optimism about Kenya’s capability to produce all its energy from renewable sources like hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind by 2030. Over 90% of Kenya’s energy is derived from renewable sources, including hydroelectric and geothermal energy.

However, Kenya frequently needs help with power disruptions. A significant power failure the previous weekend affected multiple areas, leaving them without electricity for extended periods. This included Nairobi and its international airport, which faced a blackout due to a malfunctioning generator.

Recent times have seen fuel prices skyrocketing to their peak in over ten years, exacerbating the financial strain on Kenyans who are already grappling with rising living costs and new tax impositions.

As per official statistics, electric vehicles (EVs) constitute less than 1% of the total 4.4 million registered vehicles in Kenya.




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