24 Apr 23

Ampersand wants to electrify all motorbikes in East Africa by 2030

Asia is home to 58% of all motorcycles in the world – but Africa is rapidly catching up. In 2010, there were less than 5 million motorcycles in Africa. Last year, there were an estimated 27 million. Roughly 80% of those were used as taxis, for deliveries, or serving other commercial purposes. 

Africa currently has a very small carbon footprint (around 4% of the global total). It the continent wants to remain green, its burgeoning two-wheeler fleet needs to go electric in a hurry. And indeed, startups producing and managing e-motorbikes (and their batteries) are springing up all across Africa. 

The particular mobility landscape in Africa – heavily skewed towards two-wheeled transport, much of which is commercial in nature, with little time to wait for charging – is creating an EV ecosystem unique to Africa: geared towards swapping out the batteries of e-motorcycles instead of charging, so the drivers can get on with their business. 

One example is Ampersand, an e-motorcycle manufacturer and energy solutions provider currently managing more than 800 vehicles in the Kigali and Nairobi (capitals of Rwanda and Kenya, respectively). To keep track of the batteries being swapped (and their state of health), the company developed AmperOps, an adaptive cloud solution collecting over 15,000 data points, and allowing for battery health analysis, geofencing and smart maintenance. 

Ampersand has set itself the ambitious goal of electrifying all motorcycles in Rwanda by 2027, and the whole of East Africa by 2030. 

Image: Ampersand

Authored by: Frank Jacobs