It appears the “Boda-Boda” sector of Rwanda’s transport system is in for some big changes as Germany-based electric vehicle manufacturing company, Ampersand, has indicated that plans are in top gear to launch its commercial electric motorcycle service, e-Moto, in the East African country.
According to reports, the German company is set to kickstart trials of the electric motorcycle taxi service in Rwanda, which may well represent a prime example of a genuinely mass-market electric vehicle that is both cost-efficient and reliable when compared to its direct alternatives.
This development could well set the tone for what can become a global mass-market electric vehicle revolution. More so, the move is unique in that it is not founded on what appears to be the norm, as developments of this nature are often associated with electric sedans for the middle classes of Europe, America, or Asia. This time, rather, it appears to be centered around penetrating African and other emerging markets with an inexpensive means of transportation in the form of electric motorcycle taxis.
From initial trial runs, the e-Moto from Ampersand which seems poised to revolutionize the Rwandan Boda-Boda sector is believed to possess a top speed of over 80km/h while being able to cover a distance of up to 65 km per charge cycle. The vehicle can, thus, be thought ideal for covering distances that are equivalent to the regular Boda-Boda trip in a faster and environmental-friendly way.
According to the company which is known to also have operations in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, the e-Moto has greater torque and carrying power than regular Boda-Boda motorbikes by the electric motor that is incorporated into its design. Ampersand also claims that the e-Moto is furnished with features and specifications which enables it to outperform regular motorbikes in such aspects as speed, climbing, acceleration. These specifications may well come in handy in Rwanda where commercial motorcycles are also employed in conveying bulky goods. The vehicle might well be on its way to disrupting the Rwandan Boda Boda industry; an industry that was once touted as generating up to USD 1 Bn annually.
e-Motos is believed to generate a calculated 75% net reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions compared to petrol bikes. Fuel savings per annum are projected at upwards of USD 900 per bike. Commenting with regards to the development, Eng. Coletha Ruhamya, DG of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority, expressed satisfaction at the commitment of the company to developing clean and low-pollution vehicles that have the potential to facilitate the transportation of passengers and goods while also conserving the environment. She also touted the electric motorcycles as a welcome development in that they will do one better than the regular Boda-Boda motorcycles by significantly reducing the carbon emission problem which is currently bedeviling the environment.
The imminent launch of the electric motorcycle taxi service can be considered to have all the makings of a similar development in which Finnish firm, EkoRent Africa announced the launch of Nopia Ride in Kenya. The launch could be thought of as the first ever full-electric ride-hailing service in East Africa — a development that was covered in an earlier publication by WeeTracker. These developments may be suggestive of a progressing green technology-driven revolution in the African transport sector.
Image Source: NewTimes