CONSIDERING THE ALTERNATIVE

Motorbikes Present Africa A Better Chance At Faster EV Adoption

By  |  February 3, 2023

Agreeably, zero carbon transportation is the medium through which the global warming crisis can be tamed to 2 degrees Celsius. For Africa, more markedly, this play is an avenue for not only reducing environmental pollution but also economic development. 

As the fastest urbanizing region in the world, the continent suffers from a lack of proper infrastructure in both the transportation and energy sectors. Since the daily conveyance of people and merchandise is yet substantially based on fuel, there are economic and public health implications. 

In the global electric mobility transition, Africa is more or less in the rear, slowly trying to come up to speed. 

South Africa currently leads the region’s market, but as of 2020, it had only 6,000 on-the-road electricity-powered automobiles, which accounted for less than 0.2 percent of the country’s total new car sales. What’s more, though Kenya is sometimes referred to as a leader in EV adoption, only 350 of the 2.2 million vehicles in the East African market are electric. 

Nonetheless, there might be a more viable way to accelerate its adoption across the continent. Per the 2023 annual outlook by the African Solar Industry Association (ASIA), the changeover to electric motorcycles will happen more rapidly and help in the quick, flexible deployment of renewable energy technology. This, in fact, would help usher in the much-awaited e-mobility boom. 

According to the report, there are presently around 27 million registered motorbikes in Africa, 80 percent of which are used for either passenger or delivery transportation. Their electric alternatives would provide lower transit costs and lead to an increase in the demand for solar solutions. 

Moreover, people who use these bikes are quite sensitive when it comes to costs, especially because a good number of them can cover an average of 200 kilometers daily. As such, making savings operationally makes a significant difference. 

“Switching to electric can help these taxi drivers increase their net take-home pay by 40-100 percent. We anticipate almost all commercial motorbikes in Africa to switch to electric in the next few years. This will be made very easy with “pay-as-you-drive” companies popping up all over the continent,” the report noted. 

It also explains that the solar these bikes need would be generated via a combo of commercial and industrial projects at facilities set up by pay-as-you-drive service providers. Nevertheless, larger-scale initiatives would be added to national grids to bolster the revolution. 

“Every single solar panel will be required to ensure enough green power is available to charge our ‘vehicles of tomorrow’,” the ASIA said. 

EV adoption is part of a larger endeavor to combat the excesses brought to life by climate change and save the planet. Given that Africa would be affected the most by these ecological menaces, investors have since realized that the continent ought to serve as the frontline for the battle against this dystopia. 

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