13 fév 23

Africa’s mobility industry is surging – here are seven examples

A few years ago, it was a struggle to find a story about mobility innovation in Africa. Nowadays, the struggle is to choose which one to highlight. Clearly, Africa is surging ahead when it comes to smart, electric mobility. There’s a good chance some of tomorrow’s fleet and mobility solutions will be Made in Africa instead of Europe, America or China. And yet, Africa is not on the radar as an important innovation hub. Here are seven stories, just from the seven days, to show why we should pay more attention to the Mother Continent. 

BuuPass raises $1.3m to scale mobility digitization in East Africa

Founded in Kenya, BuuPass is a booking platform allowing customers to book seats on public transport. In so doing it is helping the fragmented sector to digitize its operations. A recent infusion of $1.3 million in funding will help the company increase its market share in Kenya and Uganda, and its presence throughout East Africa. The plan is to become a pan-African infrastructure for long-distance transportation. 

Nigeria’s Shekel Mobility offers financing to small car dealerships

A large part of Africa’s automotive fleet are second-hand cars, resold by small, often informal dealerships. These have a hard time getting finance to grow larger and become more professional. Enter Shekel Mobility, a Nigerian company offering a simplified, digital financing and operating system specifically designed for car dealers. The company is already financing 1,000 dealerships, and aims to be the largest auto dealership ecosystem in Africa, turning over $10 billion by 2025. 

Rwanda Electric Motors celebrates 50 million kilometers

Motorcycles are uniquely important for mobility across Africa. For example, about 80% of Rwanda’s motorcycles are used as taxis – which can be hailed in the street, and sometimes also booked via an app.  One player in this field, Rwanda Electric Motors (REM), in business since 2019 and currently operating a fleet of 300, has just celebrated its 50 millionth km. As the name indicates, the fleet consists solely of electric motorbikes. For ease of use, the batteries can be swapped out, ensuring the vehicle can be back on the road and fully charged within minutes. REM is just one of many companies that are creating a massive boom in e-mobility across the continent. 

Morocco launches electric-mobility coalition

In Morocco, an intersectoral professional association for electric mobility (APIME) has been launched to promote e-mobility in the North African kingdom and reduce air pollution. The association brings together companies from the financing, solar and automotive industries. At the same time, the Moroccan government is working on decarbonizing public transport; and Renault will start producing ‘Mobilize Duo’ EVs in its Tangier plant from October this year. 

Kenyan micromobility startup eWaka secures Swiss funding

Kenyan micromobility startup eWaka has secured a $540,000 loan from Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). eWaka builds bicycles, scooters and motorbikes for commuter and commercial use. In Kenya, which has become a hub for e-mobility solutions, the  company is mainly known for the Shujaa, its electric bicycle. The Swiss loan will help accelerate eWaka’s growth across the continent. 

$20 million for 10,000 EVs

California-based venture capitalists Untapped Global, with offices in South Africa and Kenya, are launching a $20 million financing facility called the Climate Action Initiative, to develop electric mobility across Africa. The aim is to help fight the energy crisis and avoid 240 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2025 by increasing the rental and distribution of EVs via innovation and asset financing. The stated goald: deploy 10,000 zero-emission vehicles in cities with large populations and a lot of air pollution. 

Solar Taxi wins two E-Mobility Awards

Ghana-based e-mobility company Solar Taxi has won two prizes at the recent E-Mobility Awards in the UK. The provider of sustainable and affordable mobility solutions won Best E-Motorcycle or E-Bike, and Best Battery Development. “Our investment in building battery packs locally initially seemed like a joke to some, but we’re doing it, the first in Africa”, said the company’s CEO Jorge Appiah. “For e-bikes, we are not just leading production in Africa but on our way to beginning the biggest EV fleet in Africa”.

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Authored by: Frank Jacobs