Uber has announced the introduction of electric motorcycles, popularly known as “boda bodas,” rides in Kenya. This marks a first for Uber in Africa and represents a significant milestone in sustainable mobility on the continent.
This launch, which coincides with the recent increase in fuel prices in Kenya, offers considerable relief to motorcycle commuters, commonly referred to as “boda bodas.” Uber states that passengers using electric boda bodas will pay 15-20 per cent less for trips.
The introduction of electric boda bodas provides an affordable, comfortable, and reliable mode of transportation within the city. It also offers a zero-emissions solution to drive the green transformation in the country.
“Now is the time to take solid steps that enhance sustainable practices and as a business, we are committed to being part of the collective efforts to reduce the carbon footprint. Through the launch of electric boda on our platform, we are proud to provide an option for emissions-free mobility in Kenya. This launch also supports our global efforts to become a zero-emissions platform by 2040,” said Frans Hiemstra, Director and Regional General Manager, Uber, Middle East and Africa.
The launch comes at a time when the Kenyan government is rolling out the National Electric Mobility Plan, which focuses on creating a greener transportation system and rolling out diverse initiatives for sustainable road traffic management.
“We are doing our part to aid the transition to eco-friendly mobility products and to support national sustainability objectives. The launch of Electric Boda will provide Kenyans with one of the most affordable ways to move from one place to another, with prices 15-20 per cent below the price of our existing product,” says Imran Manji, Head of East Africa for Uber.
Electric bodas will initially be available in Nairobi, with plans to expand to other cities, enabling riders across the country to access emissions-free trips.
Imran told CIO Africa that the electric bikes are under the management of the e-mobility company Greenwheels Africa. The company will oversee all bike-related logistical matters, including maintenance and charging.
Currently, Greenwheels Africa operates only a few charging stations in Kenya, but they plan to increase them to ten before the end of the year.
Greenwheels Africa has deployed a battery-swapping model to keep the electric bodas, which have a range of 80 kilometres when fully charged, on the roads. The company has set up a few swapping stations with plans to add more across the city in the future.