SUSTAINABLE AND PRODUCTIVE SOLAR MOTORCYCLES
This project aimed to replace polluting taxi motorcycles with solar-powered electric models with PayGo charging stations. Zembo designs and sells innovative electric motorcycles and operates solar recharging stations using a battery swap business model. The motorcycles with lithium-ion batteries are low cost to run and operate, and are sold as rent-to-own, thus increasing the drivers’ revenue. But the battery swap model and solar recharging stations are innovations that need support to reach market scale. With EEP Africa financing, Zembo launched 200 electric moto prototypes and constructed 19 solar charging/battery swap stations in Kampala to pilot and validate the technology and payment solutions.
Outcome and Impact
The project provided an alternative to the large fossil fuel-based “boda-boda” market, which is a major contributor to pollution in African cities. During the pilot phase, the switch from fuel to battery power reduced 2276 tonnes of CO2e emissions and decreased fine particle emissions and noise pollution. The battery swap model maximised the use of each battery and ensured they were properly recycled at the end of their life. The project brought significant cost savings and revenue creation to taxi drivers. It also created 49 new jobs, especially for youth, as the motorcycles are assembled in Uganda.