An Afternoon With Some of Kenya’s Electric Mobility Startups

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of spending some time with some of the key players in Kenya’s nascent electric mobility scene. Ecobodaa had invited several players in the electric mobility industry to have a look at their new generation electric motorcycle, the Umeme 3000. We had such a lovely time on a splendid Sunday afternoon. I had very good discussions with representatives from the Association for Electric Mobility & Development in Africa (AEMDA), Kiri EV, Mazi mobility, and Jua Bike, and of course Kim, CEO of Ecobodaa.

It was really good to hear directly from all of them and get updates on the progress so far. There are probably between 10 and 15 companies looking into the electric motorcycle sector in Nairobi. Most of them have been active for about 3 years or so and have been running extensive pilot programs. It seems quite a number of them are now moving from early stage pilots to small commercial roll-outs.

I have an enormous amount of respect for all the young, passionate Kenyans building these electric mobility focused companies. From hearing their stories first hand, I could tell that they have spent a lot of time and done a lot of work so far, mostly using their personal resources along with some participation in accelerators, as well as some pre-seed and seed investment. Now they are all working to get to the next level. It is never easy to start and grow any company, which is why all these companies need all the support they can get to see them get to the next level. Be it technical assistance, mentorship from seasoned experts in the automotive and manufacturing industry, or more financial support, all would be welcome.

I got the feeling that the mobility sector is probably at a similar stage to where the C&I solar sector was in this part of the world about 7 years ago. The C&I solar sector as grown significantly since then and more and more players keep joining the sector. With well over 2 million ICE motorcycles in Kenya and millions more across East Africa, there certainly is a huge addressable market. There is a lot of work to be done to realize this potential. The continuous product development and improvement, as well as work on the business model innovation side, requires quite a huge chunk of money. The most important thing is that the foundation is there now, and all these smart, hard working local teams have played a key role in laying this foundation. They are now working hard to take things to the next level. Something special is brewing in Nairobi’s e-mobility scene. They need as much support as they can get to realize this potential.



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Publish date : 2022-08-06 00:52:19

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