Vaya launches e-taxi network in Zimbabwe
Ride-hailing startup Vaya Africa has launched a network of electric taxis in Zimbabwe: a fleet of Nissan Leaf EVs (pictured) complete with its own solar-powered charging network. It plans to roll out the formula across the continent. While the formula goes live in Zimbabwe, Vaya is already working to expand it into Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and South Africa.
Vaya Africa is a subsidiary of Econet Group, run by the Zimbabwean business tycoon Strive Masiyiwa, and also including major mobile telephone operators and internet infrastructure providers (such as Liquid Telecom).
The initiative is indicative of the rapid growth of Africa's on-demand mobility market over the past few years, with large international players like Uber and Bolt competing for a piece of the pie with various local heroes, such as Ride and Zayride in Ethiopia.
Recently, Africa – long deemed resistant to the global trend towards electrification – has shown signs of catching up, with initiatives in Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda focusing on introducing EVs into the shared-mobility market. Because of the relatively high cost of fuel, going electric could provide a substantial boost to the incomes of drivers.
Image: Vaya Africa