Bboxx partners with Ampersand to supply thousands of electric motorcycle taxis to drivers in Rwanda
Some estimates put the number of motorcycles in circulation on the African continent at around 20 million. Estimates also indicate that about 5 million of them are found in East Africa. Persistent Energy’s report, titled “A dozen markets and counting, opportunity for two-wheeled electric mobility in SSA,” claims that three times as many motorcycles are imported each year in sub-Saharan Africa as cars. The majority of these motorcycles are used for commercial purposes, especially in the motorcycle taxi industry. So, motorcycles are a big deal in Africa, which is why the sector is getting a lot of attention when it comes to electrification.
There are more than 30 startups active in the nascent electric motorcycle industry across different regions of the continent. Many of these startups have been running pilot programs for the past 3 years or so and are now working to ramp up their operations. The electrification of the motorcycle industry has attracted a lot of attention for several reasons, including:
- A large addressable market. The motorcycle fleet in Africa should continue to grow (motorcycle taxis and the rise of the OnDemand and eCommerce sectors)
- It is predicted that by 2040, 50-70% of all motorcycle sales in this market will be electric, or around 4 million electric motorcycles per year.
- Electric motorcycles are closer to price parity with ICE versions, unlike larger vehicles where the initial purchase price of electric cars is still much higher than that of equivalent ICE cars.
- Motorcycles are the main source of employment for young people (under 35) and offer an immediate opportunity to transform lives in the sector by reducing running costs, thereby improving incomes.
- One of the main modes of transport in many parts of the continent and therefore offers a great opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector.
- Well-established financing platforms for the motorcycle sector, unlike larger vehicle segments where automotive financing is not as developed in most countries.
- Well-established Pay-As-You-Earn and PayGo models that help remove barriers to access. Customers can pay per day or per week for up to 24 months for a motorcycle. Customers can walk away with a new motorcycle in less than two hours in certain markets after registering.
- The continued growth of the FinTech sector associated with Pay-As-You-Go models and mobile money platforms can be a major growth driver for the motorcycle sector through scalable and flexible vehicle finance ecosystems.
To unlock all this potential, key partnerships between electric mobility companies and players in the fintech space as well as the rest of the ecosystem are essential. In some exciting news for the electric motorcycle industry, Bboxxa great platform giving access to essential products and services, and ampersandan electric mobility company providing sustainable transportation solutions in East Africa, has partnered to expand Ampersand’s electric mobility program in Rwanda.
After an initial successful pilot project in the country, the program is now launching in Kigali, Africa’s greenest city, and will eventually see the supply of tens of thousands of electric motorbikes (electric motorbikes) to taxi drivers in Rwanda in course of the next few years.
The e-motorcycles will be financed by Bboxx using its unique AI model of asset financing, and with mobile payments managed using Bboxx’s Pulse©, a fully integrated operating system that streamlines business operations of Bboxx. Ampersand will supply the e-bikes and battery swaps.
The pilot is designed to allow taxi drivers in the capital to use the motorbikes for their commercial activities at a lower daily cost than gasoline-powered vehicles, an alternative option that could prove 40% more profitable, according to Ampersand data. By joining forces, the partners have a longer-term goal of delivering millions of electric motorcycles to Africa’s roads, providing much-needed clean mobility solutions in Africa’s rapidly expanding urban centers.
Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx, said, “This is an exciting opportunity for Bboxx, and we are delighted to partner with a like-minded company like Ampersand to increase access to mobility. sustainable across Africa. E-mobility is a priority area that we have been looking to move into for some time, so it is great to have finally taken this step. Ampersand has shown tremendous innovation in its business thus far and, more importantly, shares the same fundamental goals of transforming lives and unlocking potential in our quest to achieve all of the UN SDGs.
Josh Whale, CEO of Ampersand, said: “The electrification of African transport will force everyone to do what they do best. Bboxx brings to the e-mobility revolution decades of experience in offering pay-as-you-go financing to Rwandans at scale and brings a different choice and approach to the financing options available to our customers. More than half of East Africa’s road traffic is made up of motorcycle taxis, which provide a vital and affordable public transport service and a source of employment in urban and rural areas. And almost all motorcycle taxi drivers need financing to acquire their vehicles, and our electric motorcycles are no exception. We are also excited about Bboxx’s extensive experience in structuring financing instruments in smart ways to tap into international capital markets, including the growing wave of climate capital. All of this allows Ampersand to focus on what we do best: building batteries, expanding our exchange network, creating software and building motorcycles – and doing all of this more and more every year. With strategic partnerships like this collaboration with Bboxx, we can help Rwanda become the first country in the world to electrify more than half of its road traffic, closely followed by other African countries and ahead of countries like Norway.
Ampersand has been operating in Rwanda for almost five years and has so far provided hundreds of electric motorcycles, as well as exchange stations and charging infrastructure in Kigali, while expanding its network to Nairobi in neighboring Kenya.
The move is Bboxx’s latest expansion into a new business sector, providing a range of essential goods and services that are clean and sustainable. Bboxx already supplies solar-powered home systems, clean cooking products and solar-powered water pumps, with business operations managed using Bboxx Pulse©.
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