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Bolt launches electric motorcycles in Kenya in partnership with M-KOPA


Leading ride-hailing company, Bolt has introduced electric motorcycles as part of its latest offerings in Kenya.

The electric motorcycles have been launched in partnership with electric vehicle producers Roam Electric and Ampersand, both, and financing company M-KOPA.

Through this partnership, new and existing drivers will have the opportunity to lease ROAM and Ampersand electric motorbikes at a discounted price in comparison to the current market rates.  Bolt says this strategic move marks a significant step in its commitment to enhance driver earnings through the reduction of operational costs in the market, as well as move towards eco-friendly urban mobility, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change.

“We are excited to introduce our electric bike fleet, in partnership with M-KOPA, as part of our ongoing efforts to support and empower our drivers. This marks a significant milestone in Bolt’s mission to provide sustainable and financially viable transportation solutions in Kenya.” Caroline Wanjihia, Regional Director, RideHailing Operations, Africa & International Markets, said.

”By leveraging electric vehicles, we are not only reducing our environmental footprint, but also aim to enhance driver earnings and improve overall economic stability within the communities that we serve,” she added.

Bolt plans to have onboarded 1,000 electric motorcycles on its platform by the end of the year and over 5000 in the next 2 years. The rollout aligns with the recent launch of Kenya’s National E-mobility Policy, aimed at promoting local production and assembly of EVs. With zero tailpipe emissions and lower maintenance requirements compared to traditional vehicles, these electric bikes offer a cost-effective alternative for drivers, enabling them to maximise their earnings while minimising expenses.

Bolt Electric motorcycles
Bolt Electric bike

In April last year, Kenya Power released a report that revealed how the country has witnessed increased interest from local and international stakeholders keen on investing in and developing Kenya’s E-Mobility sector.

The e-mobility report noted that the growth of this sector in the country and the region will play an impactful role in the country’s economy, reducing the cost of transportation for the Kenyan masses.

The report further estimated that there were more than 1,350 electric-powered vehicles on Kenyan roads, with 62% being motorcycles.

David Damberger, Managing Director – M-KOPA Mobility, added said as the leading financier of electric motorbikes in Kenya, the company was committed to redefining mobility in Kenya through affordable financing solutions for electric motorbikes, particularly for the underbanked.

”Partnering with Bolt represents a significant leap towards this goal, enabling us to broaden our reach and support more customers in transitioning to sustainable transport solutions,” he said.

”Already, we have made substantial inroads since launching our Mobility division in 2022, in collaboration with ROAM and Ampersand. With over 2 million motorbikes navigating Kenya’s roads, now is the time for us to extend our reach, as we set to positively impact the environment significantly by reducing carbon emissions and saving on fuel costs—an essential keystone of Kenya’s sustainable development.” he added.

By combining the power of digital micropayments with IoT technology, M-KOPA offers customers access to a broad range of productive assets, including electric motorcycles, without collateral or a guarantor. For drivers to access the EV bikes, they will need to join the fleet supported by M-KOPA. The drivers will need to operate exclusively on the Bolt platform and then own the bikes after the lease period.

Since 2019, Bolt has been mitigating its environmental impact by investing in projects primarily focused on renewable energy and resource conservation. In 2021, Bolt introduced a new ride category on its platform dubbed Bolt Green which offers eco-friendly rides as the company moves towards reducing its ecological footprint in Nairobi. The category has hybrid and electric cars to reduce emissions during trips taken on the Bolt platform, thus, offering greener transport options. This category expanded Bolt’s ride options, creating more economic opportunities for drivers and providing passengers with more options to choose from.

As part of its launch strategy, Bolt will initially deploy the electric motorcycles in Nairobi, with plans for expansion in the near future.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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