Taxi-hailing company Uber and electric vehicle manufacturer Opibus have announced a strategic partnership to scale the use of electric motorcycles in Africa. The partnership is in line with Uber business plan to switch to fully electric and become a zero-emission platform by 2040.
The deal will see Opibus provide 3,000 electric motorcycles to Uber next year to help the latter reduce the carbon footprint of its fleet in Africa. The bikes will go for $1,400 each with financing available for riders looking to acquire them on credit.
The two firms have already completed a pilot study that established a huge demand for electric motorcycles in Kenya and the African continent.
“We’re seeing a huge demand for locally designed electric motorcycles on the African continent, and by working with UBER we’ve now been able to prove the feasibility for large scale deployment. Next year we’re scaling up our production to meet the market demand, both in Kenya and in the region,” Mikael Gånge, Co-Founder and Chief Sales Officer Opibus said.
Frans Hiemstra, General Manager, Uber Sub-Saharan Africa stated, “Uber is continuously looking for ways to improve the customer experience, and we have a responsibility to invest in product innovations that are safe, reliable, durable, environmentally friendly and have a sustainable impact on drivers and cities. This collaboration with Opibus will do just that,”
Uber partnership with Opibus for electric motorcycles follows that of other mobility countries in Africa that have opted to go the green route.
Just this month, eCommerce platform Jumia Kenya partnered with eBee Africa to launch electric bicycles with the aim of reducing the latter’s logistics costs and Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Nairobi.
Also, in July this year, mobility Company Bolt launched its green plan in Kenya by introducing electric tuk-tuks and e-bicycles in the food category in June while a local e-commerce last-mile delivery firm Sendy launched electric vehicle fleets comprising of tuk-tuks.
Kenya has a total of over 1.6 million registered motorcycles growing with an average of 16,500 units imported per month into the country. The exclusively fossil-fuelled fleet contributes to a total of 0.81 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, corresponding to 32% of the government’s emission reduction target by 2030.