Electrification of Africa: a silent revolutionDecember 3, 2023 by Motorcycle Journalist
A silent electrification revolution is taking place on the African continent.
A silent revolution seems to be happening in a lot of African countries that I have visited recently. In 5 years or so from now, I believe the numbers of electric vehicles ranging from 2-wheelers to 3-wheelers to the larger vehicles in Africa are going to surprise a lot of people.(2023) There Is A Silent Revolution Happening In Africa The African continent is home to more than 50 countries and more than 1.3 billion people. A lot of exciting things happen on the continent. Source: cleantechnica.com
The use of electric scooters and motorcycles is on the rise in Africa, marking a silent revolution in the continent's transportation sector. This transition is driven by various factors, including the need to reduce pollution and the lower operating costs of electric two-wheelers compared to their gasoline-powered counterparts.
In many sub-Saharan African cities, electric two-wheelers are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among motorcycle taxi drivers. The high number of motorcycle taxi drivers in cities like Cotonou, Benin, and Harare, Zimbabwe, has led to a growing demand for electric two-wheelers. These drivers are attracted to the lower maintenance costs and environmental benefits of electric vehicles.
Several startups and companies are leading the electric two-wheeler revolution in Africa. For example, Spiro, formerly known as M-Auto, a startup based in Benin, is aiming to eliminate fuel-guzzling motorbikes and scooters from the roads by trading them in for electric two-wheelers. The company is expanding its operations to countries like Kenya and Uganda, with plans to deploy a large fleet of electric vehicles. Additionally, local entrepreneurs and companies are playing a key role in promoting the adoption of electric two-wheelers. For instance, a Nigerian company called Savenhart Technology (Siltech) is assembling electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers using batteries and motors imported from Asia and Europe. The company is also working with startups to deploy electric scooters as part of their subscription platforms for motorcycle taxis and delivery drivers.
Another significant player is the Swedish-Kenyan startup Roam (formerly Opibus), which converts old vehicles to run off electric motors and opened East Africa's largest electric motorcycle assembly plant. Ampersand is another notable startup with a fleet of around 1,000 bikes and a small network of battery-swap stations across Kenya and Rwanda. Additionally, Shift EV in Egypt, BasiGo in Kenya, and One Electric 🇮🇳 India, which has set up a joint venture with a Kenyan vehicle manufacturing company, are also contributing to the electric two-wheeler revolution in Africa.
Help from 🇸🇪 Sweden
Swedish electric moped brand CAKE launched an Anti-Poaching edition of its electric dirt bike as part of a charity project that donates one of those electric motorcycles, including a solar powered charge station, to the Southern African Wildlife College in 🇿🇦 South Africa.(2023) CAKE's Sinje Gottwald completes the first unassisted African continent crossing on an electric motorcycle CAKE B2B Account Manager Sinje Gottwald has achieved a remarkable milestone in riding the longest distance ever on an electric motorcycle, after completing her 124-day journey along the West Coast of Africa on the CAKE Kalk AP. Source: ridecake.com
In 2021-2022, Thomas Jakel, a serial and social entrepreneur and coach from 🇩🇪 Germany and his partner Dulcie Mativo, co-founder of the project AfricaX.org, started an epic adventure traveling the African continent overland on an electric motorcycle, to interview over 100 entrepreneurs, innovators, and change-makers in Africa.
The couple published a book titled
The following documentary by Deutsche Welle takes you on a journey from Berlin to Morocco, through Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo and the DRC, Angola and Namibia to South Africa.