31 mai 21

Mazi’s electric MaaS solution moves Nairobi

Nairobi commuters can now choose motorbikes or tuktuks by Mazi as an alternative to the Kenyan capital’s highly fragmented public transport options. What’s more, Mazi applies two innovative approaches in one, offering Mobility as a Service (MaaS), using only electric vehicles (EVs).

For more insights on mobility in Africa, check out the regional stream at the on-demand section of the Global Fleet Conference.

In Nairobi (pictured: street scene), transport by motorcycle – or bodabodas, as they’re known locally, is ubiquitous. Mazi now offers a fleet of bodabodas as a MaaS option, and what’s more, its recently-launched fleet consists of Magnus 3000 (M3K) motorbikes, which are totally electric. 

Single or dual battery
The aim is for Mazi customers to be able to move around the city efficiently, affordably and sustainably. The MK3 is offered with a single or dual battery, which makes the difference between a range of 70 or 140 km. 

In an unusual approach to the charging problem, Mazi says that it will introduce battery-swapping stations throughout the city, which will reduce cost and time, and increase convenience. 

Mazi mobility is backed by Satgana, a Luxembourg-based ‘global venture builder’, with as its stated mission to launch and fund responsible companies addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Mature markets
The feasibility and rapid expansion of electric mobility is usually associated with mature mobility markets in Europe, or technologically advanced ones like China. Africa is behind in both respects, but nonetheless has the potential to make electric mobility work; on the one hand,  because of the urgency of the task, and on the other, because of the dynamism of its mobility entrepreneurs.

Africa’s burgeoning population is set to increase from 1.2 billion today to 1.8 billion in 2035. Much of that population growth will be added to the continent’s largest cities, which are already bursting at the seams. 

That growth requires a rethink of the mobility situation in those cities. In recent decades, the rapid urbanisation of Sub-Saharan Africa has led to giant traffic problems, not the least of which is a 75% increase in emissions that are harmful to either human health, the planetary atmosphere, or both. 

Mobility innovation
With public transport unlikely to be able to cope with the future mobility challenges alone, initiatives are springing up across Africa that are exploring shared, small and electric vehicles as an essential part of the solution. 

Recent examples include Zembo in Uganda, Stima in Kenya and Ampersand in Rwanda – all focused in East Africa. With the addition of Mazi, it’s increasingly looking like this region may become a hotbed for mobility innovation that will transform the way people move in Africa… and who knows, the world.  

Image: Shutterstock

Authored by: Frank Jacobs