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Nairobi welcomes newest charging station for e-bikes



The expansion of electric mobility solutions in Kenya has seen two firms establish of a battery swapping station for e-bikes in Nairobi.

The east African commercial hub has seen a rapid increase in the number of e-mobility infrastructure due driven by the private sector.

Asset financier Watu Credit and ARC Ride which a provider of Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS) launched the latest battery swapping station which is further expected to enhance efficiency within the transport sector.

Watu Credit General Manager for East Africa Andrii Volokha said establishment of such charging infrastructure will require both public and private sector collaboration in order to address range anxiety which still hinder many from transition to the environmental friendly solution.
“Other than providing access to financing for fuel-powered bikes, we are also encouraging riders to take up electric bikes. Electric bikes are a good option for riders because they provide up to 50% more profit to riders, who are saving more from operational costs. Battery swapping costs are more affordable than fuel prices and need less maintenance,” he added.
The financier which has assisted at least 1000 riders acquire electric bikes in Kenya and Uganda also plans to support the expansion of charging infrastructure to other major towns across the region.
According to ARC Ride Sales Manager James Waweru, the firm has established a network of automated battery swap stations across Nairobi, enabling riders to save valuable working hours that would otherwise be spent on charging.

“E-bikes are quite efficient, safe, and not affected by weather, including the rainy season. There are already 80 battery swap stations set up in Nairobi,” said Waweru.

In a bid to encourage uptake of e-bike in Kenya, Watu Credit said the asset financing enables riders to acquire e-bikes for as low as Ksh 450 ($2.87).

Official statistics indicate that motorcycles imports in Kenya indicates that the number of motorcycle imports stood at 13,766 while the total number of newly registered motorcycles declined 53.5pc from 291,553 in 2021 to 135,514 in 2022 majority of them powered by carbon fuels.

Kenya government has embarked on plans to investing in e-mobility infrastructure across the country and along major highways to ensure adoption of the e-vehicle and e-bikes.

Last year, the country’ roads and transport ministry announced the establishment of the e-Mobility Taskforce to help develop a policy that will help speed the development of the sector to support the government’s commitment to cut carbon emissions by up to 32% by 2030.

The e-Mobility Taskforce is expected to help among other, provide strategic direction that will create an enabling environment for development of the sector, boost uptake of e-vehicles and e-bikes and related infrastructure, promote e-mobility in counties, recommend transition measures and recommend fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the e-Mobility sector including importation, local manufacture, assembly and e-mobility infrastructure.

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