Mbay Mobility plans 33,000 e-taxis in Africa

The Senegalese startup Mbay Mobility wants to put 33,000 electric taxis on the streets of three major West African cities within ten years. Specifically, this is planned for Dakar and Accra (the capitals of Senegal and Ghana) as well as Abidjan, the largest urban centre in Côte d'Ivoire.

Image: Mbay Mobility

Mbay Mobility’s business model is based on bank loans and digital services for taxi owners. The company, which completed a pilot phase for ten electric taxis in Senegal in 2022 with the support of a local investor, is currently looking for financial partners to help it acquire and import the 33,000 electric taxis.

The aim is clear: the use of electric vehicles is intended to reduce emissions in the three urban centres. While there are already some e-mobility projects involving taxis, buses and two-wheelers in East Africa, “West Africa is still lagging behind in the decarbonisation of its transport,” as the portal Afrik21 puts it. But there is also movement in West Africa: In Accra, for example, the startup SolarTaxi has found an investor to convert its fleet to electric taxis and electric two-wheelers.

Mbay Mobility has opted for a model from China for its first electric taxis: the BYD e1. “We’ve tested our electric vehicle on the roads, it works well and the feedback has been phenomenal. The passengers love it, our driver loves it, and the savings are excellent”, explained Matthew Sellar, the CEO of Mbay Mobility, in an interview. “The 16,000 taxis in Dakar represent less than 5% of the Senegalese car fleet, but contribute 40% of the pollution.”


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