Africa: Uber, Electric Vehicle Group Partner to Deploy Electric Motorcycles Across Africa in 2022


Uber Partnership to Deploy 3,000 Electric Motorcycles Across Africa

Just as in most cities across Africa, motorcycle taxi drivers are in almost every corner of Nairobi. Josephat Mutiso is among the first drivers here to make the switch from fossil fuel to electric motorcycles, thanks to a partnership between Uber and Opibus.

“This is way efficient,” he said. “It is even way easier to ride than the other one. You see, this one you don’t have so ma”ny controls, you just have the throttle, no clutch. The only thing you are focusing on is just the front brake and the rear brake. That way it gives you even more control of the bike. And it is pretty light, it does not vibrate. So even clients like this one better.”

Motorcycle taxis have become increasingly common as public transportation in cities across Africa.

Joyce Msuya, the deputy executive director of UNEP, the U.N. Environmental Program, notes that motorcycle taxis have become increasingly common as public transportation in cities across Africa.

“The number of newly registered motorcycles, commonly used as taxis or boda boda, was estimated in 2018 at 1.5 million and will likely grow to five million by 2030,” she said. “Most are inefficient, poorly maintained and heavily polluting. UNEP’s study shows that boda boda drivers can more than double their income if they make the switch.”

In March, the U.N. Environment Program launched the first electric bikes project in Kenya, creating the momentum for Africa’s shift to electric mobility. The partnership between Uber and Opibus seeks to accelerate that shift.