Kenyan start-up ARC Ride wants to revolutionise mobility in East Africa. It has just put its new “Corbett” electric motorbike on the roads of Nairobi. The two-wheelers have been produced to make it easier for people to get around the Kenyan capital and deliver goods at a time when fuel prices are being debated on the continent.
“We want to enable the mass adoption of electric motorbikes and tricycles in fast-growing cities. We are gradually achieving this through an infrastructure-led approach with our self-service exchange stations. Each cyclist has a battery that is linked to them via our mobile application. All you have to do is scan a QR code and swap your battery. An empty door opens, you put your battery inside and then a new, fully-charged battery is handed over to you. It’s a process that takes less than 2 minutes and saves 40% per kilometre compared to petrol,” says the company, headed by Joseph Hurst-Croft.
According to ARC Ride, whose main customers are hotels and retail outlets, ‘Corbett’ has a 3 kW motor with a range of up to 60 kilometres. This electric motorbike should also help to reduce the air pollution generated by combustion engine vehicles, in a context marked by the proliferation of boda boda vehicles, which are very popular in East Africa.
A situation that is of concern to the Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO) programme implemented by the Carbon Trust and Energy 4 Impact (E4I). This energy transition funding programme, supported by the UK government organisation UK Aid, recently awarded $1.1 million to several green initiatives, including Ecobodaa. The mobility start-up plans to deploy 1,000 electric bicycles before 2024, as well as expanding its digital payment-by-rental solutions in several Kenyan cities.
Source; Afrik 21