Uber has announced the launch of Electric motorcycles in Kenya, a first for Uber in Africa, and a significant milestone in sustainable mobility on the continent. The launch of electric motorcycles offers an affordable, comfortable and reliable means of mobility within the city, as well as a zero emissions method to help drive green transformation in the country.
The motorbikes have been branded Electric Boda, which will initially cost 15-20% less than a regular Uber Boda trip. Uber’s launch of Electric Boda presents an approximate 30-35% reduction in running costs for drivers, for whom fuel is one of the most significant costs.
According to the World Bank, the boda boda sector in Kenya employs over 1.5 million young people and contributes approximately Ksh202 billion to the economy annually. “Now is the time to take solid steps that enhance sustainable practices and as a business, we are committed to being part of the collective efforts to reduce the carbon footprint,” said Mr Frans Hiemstra, Director and Regional General Manager, Uber, Middle East and Africa.
Mr Hiemstra said the launch of Electric Boda on Uber platform provides an option for emissions-free mobility in Kenya, adding that it also supports its global efforts to become a zero-emissions platform by 2040.
The launch comes at a time when the Kenyan government is rolling out the National Electric Mobility Plan, which focuses on creating a more green transportation system and rolling out diverse initiatives for sustainable road traffic management.
“We are doing our part to aid the transition to eco-friendly mobility products and to support national sustainability objectives. The launch of Electric Boda will provide Kenyans with one of the most affordable ways to move from one place to another, with prices 15-20% below the price of our existing product,” says Mr Imran Manji, Head of East Africa for Uber.
Uber Electric Boda will initially be available in Nairobi, with plans to expand to other cities, enabling riders across the country to access emissions-free trips. Mr Manji said safety remains central to Uber and continues to be reflected in new products launched.
Mr Manji said riders taking a trip on Electric Boda can still expect the same safety standards to apply namely, RideCheck, which detects unusually long stops along a trip route and confirms with the driver and rider if all is well. Also, access to 24-7 emergency response services, and audio recording, among others, is still available.