Skip to main content
Tag

EV Archives — Page 7 of 10 — Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine

Uber Launches Electric Motorcycles And Scooters For Rides And Deliveries In Kenya

By General Posts

from https://africa.com

Uber Launches Electric Motorcycles And Scooters For Rides And Deliveries In Kenya And For The First Time In Africa.

Uber has announced the launch of electric BodaBodas and bicycles for earners on UberBoda, Uber Connect and Uber Eats in Kenya, allowing riders and eaters the ability to choose a more sustainable option to move around and to have deliveries made. The launch is a first for Uber in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sustainable rides with UberBoda Green

The launch of electric BodaBodas will not only offer an affordable and reliable manner of transportation within the city, but riders will be able to select a zero-emissions ride to help drive a green recovery. Using electric UberBoda vehicles will cost the same as a regular journey, as going green should never be more expensive. Riders can also expect the same door-to-door safety experience.

The launch of electric boda presents a 45% reduction in overall costs for Uber Boda and Uber Connect drivers, for whom fuel is the most significant operating cost. In Kenya, the boda boda sector employs over 1.6 million youths, the vast majority of which are based in Nairobi.

“We are doing our part to help transform mobility in the country so that Kenyans can play their part in reducing carbon emissions. Uber is continuously looking for ways to improve the customer experience, and we have a responsibility to invest in offering product innovations that make a difference to cities. We believe this collaboration will do just that”, says Brian Njao, Head of East Africa for Uber.

Reducing emissions while making deliveries

With consumers being environmentally and health-conscious, it is important for Uber Eats to be part of the journey. The introduction of electric BodaBodas can allow consumers to order their favourite meals while giving them peace of mind that their food is delivered in transportation with low emissions. In addition, Uber Connect deliveries will also be done using the newly launched electric motorcycles and bicycles.

“Uber Eats has grown exponentially across Kenya, with the app being available in Mombasa, Nakuru and Nairobi, which means more delivery people on the road. Providing electric BodaBodas to delivery people means that transportation emissions can be cut drastically, says Nadeem Anjarwalla, General Manager of Uber Eats in Kenya.

Uber will continue to actively work with cities to introduce eco-friendly products to decrease air pollution, reduce urban congestion, and increase access to clean transportation modes.

OX One urban Electric Motorcycle

By General Posts

by Otilia Drăgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Who says that you can’t commute in style? If you’re a fan of electric mobility alternatives, it’s time to forget about boring options and go for something that allows you to fully express your individuality. The fiery Tokyo electric motorcycle from OX Motorcycles is sure to catch your eye.

After releasing their first electric motorcycle earlier this year, Spanish-based company OX Motorcycles launched an interesting follow-up collection, called the Atypical Edition. The three models in the collection are all based on the first OX One electric motorcycle, but each of them represents a different facet of riding. While the Montecarlo version is the sports model and Patagonia is the off-road option, OX One Tokyo is the urban motorcycle by definition.

What stands out about Tokyo is its design. Unlike the other bikes in the range, which have a more pronounced retro-inspired design, Tokyo gives out a contemporary vibe. With a predominantly red colorway, this motorbike is meant to become a showstopper in any environment. And let’s not forget about the LED round headlight with an X-shaped screen grid that underlines its rebellious look.

But this is not just a good-looking motorbike, it’s also a smart one. OX One Tokyo has an integrated, customized technology developed by the same company. ELISA is the name of this navigation technology that can also help the rider locate their bike, improve their riding style or find out more about battery status. It simply connects to the user’s phone and it’s easy to use.

Like all the OX One motorcycles, Tokyo has an 8 kW motor, able to reach a maximum speed of 68 mph (110 kph). It also comes with two removable 70V, 30Ah batteries, each weighing 30 lbs. (14 kg). Also, one of the best things about the OX One motorcycles is that the batteries can be charged using any standard household plug and it only takes two hours to fully charge one battery.

All the motorcycles in the Atypical Edition, including OX One Tokyo, have a $7,247 (€5, 990) price tag, with deliveries beginning this fall.

Honda aims to have only electric vehicles sales by 2040

By General Posts

by Reuters from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com

New Honda CEO aims for 100% electric vehicles by 2040

Speaking at his first news conference since taking the chief executive position at the beginning of April, Toshihiro Mibe said the company expects EVs and FCVs to account for 40% of sales by 2030 and 80% by 2035 in all major markets.

TOKYO: Honda Motor Co’s new chief executive said on Friday the company was aiming to increase its ratio of electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) to 100% of all sales by 2040.

Speaking at his first news conference since taking the chief executive position at the beginning of April, Toshihiro Mibe said the company expects EVs and FCVs to account for 40% of sales by 2030 and 80% by 2035 in all major markets.

Mibe began his leadership amid a growing shift in automobile technology to electric vehicles and autonomous driving. Traditionally known for its fuel-efficient internal combustion engines, Honda launched its first mass-produced all-battery vehicle last August.

Mibe said the company also aimed to include advanced driver-assistance systems in all of its models in major markets by 2030.

Husqvarna Electric Motorcycle E-Pilen Concept Revealed

By General Posts

by Arun Prakash from https://www.rushlane.com

Husqvarna E-Pilen is expected to undergo production by late this year with a launch aimed at late 2021 or late 2022

With every other OEM venturing into electric mobility space, we often get to witness new designs and advent of some new technology even if it’s minuscule. The latest manufacturer is Husqvarna who plans to enter the emission-free auto world with the production version of E-Pilen Concept revealed recently.

Based on the unique and pioneering design of successful twins- Svartpilen and Vitpilen, E-Pilen Concept is the Swedish bikemaker’s first step into urban electric mobility. The company has ensured that the production-spec electric motorcycle will bear stark resemblances to the concept version showcased.

Modern Design
The progressive design philosophy of Svartpilen and Vitpilen has been carried forward to the electric bike which features some distinct styling elements such as an exposed trellis frame, wide handlebars, a compact fuel tank and a round headlamp.

While a light paint scheme has been carried forward from Vitpilen, the tank rack has been inspired by Svartpilen. Other design elements included are inverted forks, mono-shock at rear, and a gullwing swingarm.

Expected Powertrain Specs
It should be pointed out that the fuel tank houses the electric battery setup. The battery supplies energy to an electric motor with a rated capacity of 8kW (10.73 bhp). Although exact details of the powertrain are yet to be revealed, the company claims a modest range of 100km on a single charge. However, Husqvarna has assured that it will address the range anxiety issues of consumers by equipping E-Pilen with swappable batteries featuring a modular system.

Official statement from the company read as “It has always been the aim of Husqvarna Motorcycles to develop new products accessible to the broadest possible spectrum of riders. The E-mobility range will retain and continue the riding pleasure and dynamics refined through the long history and experience of the brand.”

More Details
More details regarding E-Pilen will be revealed as the electric motorcycle nears its final production-spec version. Husqvarna’s Austrian cousin KTM has already ventured into electric mobility space with 5 kW SX-E and 16 kW Freeride E. If E-Pilen indeed undergoes production it can also pave the path for electric KTM Dukes. Motorcycles of both brands are manufactured at Bajaj’s manufacturing facility in Chakan near Pune, Maharashtra.

In fact, Bajaj and KTM have been working together on a common electric platform that will underpin products ranging from 3kW to 10kW electric motors using a 48V electric system. Also, it was reported a couple of months back that KTM and Husqvarna are developing an all-new electric scooter as well which will be based on Bajaj Chetak Electric. We can expect E-Pilen to be launched late this year or early next year.

Husqvarna announces a new concept for Electric Motorcycle
by Otilia Drăgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Just as more car manufacturers are switching over to electric vehicles, well-known motorbike companies are also extending their line-up to include e-motorcycles. This year, we are definitely seeing a lot of innovative electric motorbikes being released, and that’s just the beginning.

Husqvarna is one of the brands that recently announced a new concept that’s on its way to being added to their successful motorcycle range. The E-Pilen model is actually intended to be the first of an entirely new series. The company has not yet revealed more details about what the E-mobility line will consist of, but it’s proof that they are serious about developing environmentally-friendly alternatives to classic models.

Fans were not given a lot of information about the upcoming E-Pilen model but, from what we can see so far, it resembles Husqvarna’s classic Vitpilen and Svartpilen in terms of design. The sharp silhouette, five-spoke wheels and retro-inspired round headlight are some of the elements that all of these bikes have in common. The company itself states that E-Pilen is meant to look as good as their most popular models, with the added benefits of electric mobility.

Aimed at “leisure riders”, the Husqvarna electric motorcycle would be ideal for regular commuting in urban environments. The company promises a 62-mile (100 km) range and an 8 kW power output for the electric model, that’s also equipped with a modular and swappable battery system. With E-Pilen currently under development, the motorcycle manufacturer is still considering various options as far as batteries, so we’ll know more about that in the future.

Since they are now appealing to a wider public who is interested in electric alternatives, Husqvarna also intends to extend their dealership network in urban and metropolitan areas.

According to their official statement,“It has always been the aim of Husqvarna Motorcycles to develop new products accessible to the broadest possible spectrum of riders. The E-mobility range will retain and continue the riding pleasure and dynamics refined through the long history and experience of the brand”.

E-Pilen will be launched in the near future, stay tuned for updates.

Delfast Bikes to break away from production in China

By General Posts

by Cristian Curmei from https://www.autoevolution.com

Delfast Bikes Does the Unthinkable and Starts Breaking Away From PRC Production

There’s no doubt that e-bikes are what booming in the urban mobility game. One company carrying the torch and leading the way for e-bikes is Delfast Bikes.

It’s possible you’ve heard of Delfast Bike by now. In case you haven’t, know that this is one of the e-bike manufacturers you should be keeping an eye on. Between 2014 and 2017, this company was hard at work delivering a different sort of product, parcels or packages, but behind closed curtains, Delfast was hard at work developing their own machine able to withstand the treacherous roads of Kyiv, Ukraine.

In 2016, this company began selling its first e-bike, and just a year later, in 2017, set a Guiness World Record for the longest e-bike ride on a single battery charge, 367 km (228 mi). How? Well, I mentioned the team had been working on something behind closed curtains, mainly, it was a battery management system.

Let’s face it, the e-bikes this team creates have way more to do than just simple battery management. Another aspect of design that Delfast seems to be partaking in, is that of creating an overall rugged and capable bike. How rugged? If you’ve been following along with autoevolution, you’d know that even the Mexicali Police are now using products from Delfast to monitor crime. Imagine seeing police officers silently chasing down fugitives. The days of horseback riding are over.

Recently, this EV company ran a $3,000,000 crowdfunding campaign to help expand and ease company operations. Now, anytime a company asks investors to throw in some cash, you’d better be sure they deliver. Such a doubt has no place if we’re to be talking about Delfast. By the end of the campaign, this team had raised $400,000 more than they initial sum aimed for.

“We are delighted to raise such a record amount in three months. This funding will take us one step closer to our goal to build an industry-leading e-bike manufacture and support a climate-safe transportation community around the globe,” said Daniel Tonkopiy, co-Founder and CEO.

But why was this campaign needed in the first place? I thought you’d never ask. Think if it this way. Before this crew launched the campaign, they already had $100 million in pre-orders. $100 million! Give the people $3,000,000! I wonder what the investor portfolios are looking like.

With the newfound cash, Delfast has invested in a production center in their own backyard and not in the current PRC. It looks like, slowly but surely, this team wants to transfer their e-bike production out of China, something a lot of e-bike companies see as out of the question.

A few days ago, the e-bike manufacturer released an announcement stating they’ve signed an agreement with Kyiv-based tech company ELMIZ. If you’ve never heard of ELMIZ, not to worry, your future Delfast e-bike will be assembled with the help of a company that has been specializing in the production of space docking systems, laser navigation and radio communication systems, and even automated devices for space vehicles. And that’s just a part of the story, ELMIZ also produces charging stations for electric cars, mining equipment, and porous cast aluminum for mechanical engineering, not to mention lighting systems.

“The factory has a wide experience in producing complex electronics, space systems and charging stations for electric vehicles. Considering its resources, expertise and qualified engineers, we can be sure that our e-bikes will be produced in a high quality and in accordance with our requirements,” says Tonkopiy about the agreement.

Currently, the new facility will be able to manufacture five e-bikes per month, while the goal is to increase production to 50 units per month by the end of 2021. One major benefit that Delfast customers can now look forward to is an increased production capacity, meaning you’ll get your bike sooner than anticipated; shorter delivery times for U.S. and E.U. clients by up to three weeks.

In my opinion, keep your eyes peeled as this company is setting a new standard for how an e-bike should perform. If you feel you’ve missed out on the investment opportunities this company has offered in the past, don’t. They are on a clear growing curve and even now is a good time to hop on the fastest e-bike for 2021 according to Forbes.

Right now, an Earth Day campaign is running on the manufacturers website that drops $1,556 off the 3.0’s starting price of $6649. So, you can get the freshest menace form this team for $5,256. Honestly, for that price, you’re buying an electric motorcycle that just happens to include a pedal-assist function.

 

Zero Motorcycles DSR Earth Day Limited Edition

By General Posts

by Otilia Drăgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

When everyone was celebrating Earth Day, Zero Motorcycles were also celebrating their 15th anniversary. So they decided to make it extra special, by releasing a limited-edition DSR and donating part of the sales to the National Forest Foundation.

You know it’s a special day when one of the coolest electric motorcycle brands surprises the world with five new colors for one of their most popular bikes. Zero Motorcycles’ DSR has just been released in nature-inspired colors, to honor nature and celebrate Earth Day.

But that’s not all. For every limited-edition bike that is sold, the Californian company will be donating $500 to the National Forest Foundation. The donations will then be used by the Foundation for various projects that are aimed at maintaining or restoring trail systems. This way, riders who are passionate about electric motorcycles and protecting the environment, can also enjoy better access to sustainable trails. It all comes full circle.

“Our bikes are an incredible way to experience off-road riding, including in America’s National Forests, and we stand with the National Forest Foundation in their mission to guarantee access to those lands for future generations.”, said Sam Paschel, Zero Motorcycles CEO.

This project only reiterates Zero Motorcycles’ commitment to sustainability. After all, their electric, hand-crafted bikes were designed for adventure and off-road explorations without any negative impact on the environment.

Dayle Wallien, Conservation Partnerships Director for the National Forest Foundation, stated that “we are excited and grateful to partner with Zero Motorcycles on projects to improve outdoor experiences and restore our National Forests. Our public lands are amazing places to explore and recreate and we appreciate a commitment to help us steward them from an innovative company like Zero”.

Each one of the 15th anniversary limited-edition models is built with the well-known Z-Force 75-7 motor that delivers 116 ft-lb of torque and a maximum speed of 102 mph (164 kph). And let’s not forget that all DSRs have a range of 163 miles (262 km).

The special edition DSR motorcycles are available for sales through official dealers, starting at $15,495.

Britain insurance companies on self-driving vehicles

By General Posts

by Nick Carey, Paul Lienert and Tina Bellon of Reuters from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Britain’s driverless car ambitions hit speed bump with insurers

Insurers are key players in the shift to automated driving, with some investing in a technology they believe will slash accidents and deaths, and save them billions in payouts. But they are worried drivers might equate today’s lower levels of automation with fully self-driving vehicles, potentially causing more accidents in the short term and permanently damaging public confidence in the technology.

Britain’s goal to be a leader in adopting self-driving cars could backfire unless automakers and government regulators spell out the current limitations of the technology, insurance companies warn.

“What you describe things as is incredibly important, so people don’t use them inappropriately,” said David Williams, managing director of underwriting at AXA Insurance, whose parent AXA SA made 17 billion euros in revenues from property and casualty insurance, including motor insurance, in 2020.

“I genuinely believe the world will be a safer place with autonomous vehicles and I really don’t want that derailed.”

In what would be a world first, Britain is considering regulating the use of Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) on its roads, possibly even on motorways at speeds of up to 70 miles (113 km) per hour. It is also deciding whether to describe them to the general public as “automated” systems.

It is that one word – automated – that has stirred controversy and put the country at the centre of a global debate about self-driving terminology at a sensitive moment in its evolution.

The technology is evolving rapidly and there is no consensus on how to deploy it or what to call some features. Regulations in the Americas, Europe and Asia lag far behind technical developments and issues over accident liability are unresolved.

ALKS use sensors and software to keep cars within a lane, accelerating and braking without driver input. They are “Level 3” technology on the auto industry’s five point scale towards fully autonomous “Level 5” driving – meaning they can operate under specific conditions, but require driver intervention.

However, some experts say ALKS should be called “assisted-driving technology” to avoid potentially misleading consumers into believing they can let their attention wander at the wheel.

The dangers of drivers apparently misunderstanding the limits of technology has already become an issue in the United States, where regulators have been looking into about 20 crashes involving Tesla’s driver assistance tools, such as its “Autopilot” system – a “Level 2” technology that requires the driver’s constant attention.

Britain’s Thatcham Research said it had tested cars with the technologies underpinning ALKS and found they cannot swerve out of lane to avoid obstacles, see pedestrians emerging from cars at roadside, or read road signs. The car can alert the driver to resume control, but with a potentially fatal lag at high speeds.

“If this technology was really automated and could do what you or I could do, insurers would welcome it,” said Matthew Avery, Thatcham’s research director.

“But this will lead to confusion, it’s going to lead to unnecessary crashes, and potentially injuries or fatalities” if ALKS are not marketed accurately, he added.

Britain’s transport ministry said its primary concern was public safety and it hadn’t decided to permit the use of ALKS at high speeds or whether to call the technology “automated.” Its decisions are expected later this year.

The World Health Organization estimates road accidents globally kill around 1.35 million people a year.

With human error estimated to cause around 90% of accidents, that has attracted considerable interest in automated driving technologies from insurers.

AXA, for instance, has used UK research projects to gather data to create insurance products for autonomous vehicles and owns a stake in self-driving software startup Oxbotica, which also has funding from Chinese tech giant Tencent.

There is potentially a big economic boost too from embracing the new technology.

Britain’s transport ministry forecasts by 2035 around 40% of new UK cars could have self-driving capabilities, creating up to 38,000 new skilled jobs.

“The UK’s adoption of ALKS … is essential for Britain to remain a world leader in vehicle technology while ensuring our roads remain amongst the safest on the planet,” Mike Hawes, CEO of UK car industry lobby group the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited, said, noting the United Nations has approved ALKS in slow moving motorway traffic under 37 miles per hour (60 kph).

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz has been a pioneer of self-driving technology and is seeking global regulatory approval for its “Level 3” Drive Pilot system.

In an email, Daimler called the system “conditional automated driving”

“This is a paradigm change, because the vehicle takes control,” Daimler said. “The driver can turn away from what is happening on the road” to surf the internet, or enjoy “a relaxing seat massage.”

AXA’s Williams attended a presentation of Drive Pilot to the Association of British Insurers last year.

“It is absolutely amazing, but it is driver assistance,” he said, and not full automation.

Neil Ingram, insurer Direct Line’s head of motor product management, said it was vital “Level 3” technologies were described clearly and accurately.

“We’ve known for years the path to full automation was a tricky one and Level 3 has always been the problem child,” he said. “If the government decides to designate ALKS systems as automated then that makes it very, very real.”

With proper consumer education, ALKS “could help in slow moving traffic”, said Anthony Smith, CEO of independent UK consumer watchdog Transport Focus.

“But the word ‘automated’ needs careful testing on a few focus groups and we need a better name,” he said.

Some in the car industry favour a cautious approach.

Glen De Vos, chief technology officer at Aptiv, a supplier developing self-driving technology, said automakers should be “very sensitive” when describing their systems’ capabilities “because what we don’t want to do is oversell.”

Even marketed properly, he said some drivers would abuse the technology. So Aptiv advocates using cameras and sensors inside vehicles to keep drivers engaged.

“If the driver’s behaviour doesn’t change, you have to lock them out of the system,” De Vos said.

The Taxing Bikernet Weekly News for April 15, 2021

By General Posts

News from Wheels Through Time Museum, Four Corners Motorcycle Rally, Goodyear buys Avon tires company, Fandango event coverage, Tucker Powersports offers over 200 new products for e-bikes to help dealers, David Uhl Art in Florida, CARB Certification Fees, major Motorcycle Events List for 2021 from Twisted Road, the ever-growing Cantina Bad Joke Library, Laconia Bike Week Charity Raffle, NMA readers comment on EV,

There’s way more coming to Bikernet. We need to keep riding free into the future.

–Bandit

The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, BorntoRide.com and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum.

CLICK HERE to read the Weekly News on Bikernet.

Join the Cantina for special exclusive content – Subscribe Today.

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/custom/subscription.aspx

Planned Electric Motorcycle from Segway

By General Posts

by Florina Spînu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Hydrogen-Fueled Segway Apex H2 Makes a Stunning Appearance, Production Possible

Looking straight out of the “Tron” movie, a new electric motorcycle called Apex H2, a two-wheeler packed with neon lights and powered by hydrogen fuel cells, was shown this week by Segway’s Chinese parent company Ninebot.

Presented as a continuation of the Segway Apex that was presented a while back, the Chinese company hopes to turn the H2 into a unique product in a few years’ time.

So, what are the features of Apex H2?

First, we have a redesigned frame compared to what we were already shown, only it adds hydrogen power to the mix. More to the point, the bike should get its juice from hydrogen cylinders, which will probably be swappable and refillable. For now, not many details on these are available, given how the product is still in its early stages.

According to Ninebot, the Apex H2 will have a power output of 80 hp, and it should reachh 100 kph (62 mph) in four seconds. Additionally, the motorcycle will have a top speed of 150 kph (93 mph).

Said to be priced at approximately $10,700, the innovative motorcycle is not exactly a low-cost two-wheeled vehicle. However, considering what it promises to put on the table, it could become a strong competitor on the market. This new hybrid motorcycle is scheduled to come out in 2023.

Even though the Segway Apex is still some years away, Segway’s legacy lives on. Its latest products are e-scooters, hoverboards, and other devices that act as an extension of the human body. The company presented in 2020 the Segway S-Pod, a self-balancing chair for urban transport operated by an intuitive assistive navigation panel. It is also developing electric ATVs and dirt e-bikes.

In 2015 Segway was purchased by the Chinese competitor Ninebot, a company that raised no less than $80 million from investors like Xiaomi.

Electric Motorcycles to help in Wildlife Protection

By General Posts

from https://thewestsidegazette.com

Two-Wheeled Hope: Kenya Embraces Electric Motorcycle Project, Ups E-Mobility Goals

One of the world’s largest urban forests sits just outside Nairobi, one of Africa’s busiest cities. Amid its tranquility, the setting is often pierced by ear-splitting gasoline motorbikes emitting fumes as rangers patrol for poachers, intruders and watch over visitors.

“Normally, we use gasoline motorbikes to patrol this forest, making it impossible to nab culprits because of the noise. In many instances, we have been fighting a losing battle,” John Chege, the infrastructure coordinator from Friends of Karura Forest, told Zenger News.

But now, thanks to an electric motorbikes pilot project recently launched in Nairobi, Friends of Karura Forest is getting a donation of electric motorbikes.

Implemented by the United Nations Environmental Program, it is part of a larger initiative: Integrating two and three-wheelers into existing urban transport modes in developing and transition countries. The effort is funded by the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature and Nuclear.

Thanks to an electric motorbikes pilot project recently launched in Nairobi, Friends of Karura Forest is getting a donation of electric motorbikes. (Courtesy United Nations Environment Program)

The goal is to curb greenhouse gas emissions by helping countries reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Chege also said the bikes will help rangers move swiftly and more quietly through the vast forest of 2,752 acres.

“Since they are fast and do not emit much noise and minimal air pollution, we are sure of providing forest security efficiently, while tackling environmental problems,” Chege told stakeholders at the launch.

Despite the Kenyan government hope to transition into a 100 percent green energy nation, with more than 80 percent of its energy coming from hydro, solar, geothermal and wind, it still imports more gasoline motorbikes than cars, doubling its fleet every seven-to-eight years. It’s estimated that the newly registered gasoline motorcycles, commonly used as taxis (boda-boda), which stood at 1.5 million in 2018, will likely hit 5 million by 2030.

With the two and three-wheelers accounting for the same amount of emissions as a passenger car, Africa could see a 50 percent increase in air pollution by 2050 in low- and middle-income countries by 2050, according to a study by the Global Environment Facility.

“Now is a critical moment in the transition to electric mobility. Although we are at relatively low levels, we are 2 percent of sales globally, the change is coming exponentially. The volume is doubling less than every two years,” said Nigel Topping, the UK Government High Level Climate Action Champion for the upcoming United Nations climate talks, known as COP26.

According to Topping, it is possible to end the use of combustion engines and their associated health and climate effects.

“The shift toward electric mobility is a much-needed technology in saving the environment from pollution, and this pilot project will help. We have to grasp this opportunity, which will change the way we move in our cities. We are committed to it,” said James Macharia, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for transport, infrastructure, housing, urban development and public works.

Joyce Musya, UNEP deputy executive director, says motorcycles being imported by Kenya are generally inefficient and poorly maintained. “Shifting to electric bikes in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and elsewhere will reduce costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as create jobs,” said Musya.

Environment Program in Nairobi. (Courtesy U.N. Environment Program)

The bikes, donated by Shenzhen Shenling Car Co. Ltd., will last six to 12 months and will be replicated in Uganda, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

“We are committed to set up charging ports across the country to support growing demand for electric-powered vehicles and motorbikes,” said Brian Ngugi, managing director at Kenya Power, the country’s electricity transmission company.

The motorcycle industry supports 5.2 million Kenyans directly or indirectly, which is about 10 percent of Kenya’s population. There are 1.4 million motorcycle riders in Kenya.

Keffa Mwendwa, a boda boda rider, has been using an electric bike for six months within Nairobi, courtesy of Ecobodaa, a Nairobi-based startup that operates on a rent-to-own model. He sees many plusses.

“As compared to the gasoline motorbikes, maintenance is cheaper,” Mwendwa said. “I don’t have to do engine services like changing oil or changing chains. I only have to change brake fluid and tire pressure.”