Ugandan capital to electrify 140,000 motorcycle taxis

In Uganda’s capital Kampala, 140,000 motorbike taxis with internal combustion engines are to be replaced by purely electric vehicles within five years. This is according to an agreement signed between the government of Uganda and the African eMobility start-up Spiro.

The Bloomberg news agency reports that this planned number of electric Spiro machines would account for almost 90 per cent of the taxis registered in Kampala, the so-called boda-boda. According to the above agreement, verified boda-boda drivers will be able to exchange their internal combustion vehicles for electric ones free of charge. Spiro then aims to generate revenue from the exchange of batteries at its stations. 3,000 exchange and charging stations are planned in Uganda, according to Bloomberg.

Spiro, the eMoblity company known until a few days ago as M Auto, already has a total of 4,500 electric motorbikes in Benin and Togo – and is about to launch in Rwanda, it says. “Our rapid rollout is proof that electric two-wheelers are the future of sustainable mobility in Africa,” Shegun Adjadi Bakari, Spiro’s chief executive, is quoted as saying by Bloomberg. The company is now said to be planning to build an e-bike assembly plant worth about $15 million as part of a $200 million investment in the Ugandan market, given its partnership with the government.

Another e-bike start-up with a focus on Africa is the Swedish-Kenyan company Roam. Only a few weeks ago, the company announced that it would move into a new location in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to increase its production and build more than 50,000 examples of the Air e-motorcycle per year in the future. This production capacity should be reached “in a few years”, according to a press release.


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