M-KOPA, Bolt Join Kenya’s EV Push To Put 5,000 E-Bikes On The Road

By  |  April 22, 2024

M-KOPA, a prominent African fintech platform offering asset finance has joined forces with Bolt, one of the main players in on-demand mobility in Africa, to launch an electric bike fleet in Kenya.

This initiative, unveiled today, presents new and existing drivers with the opportunity to lease ROAM and Ampersand electric motorbikes at discounted rates compared to current market standards. The move signals Bolt’s commitment to bolstering driver earnings while promoting eco-friendly urban mobility, in line with global endeavours to combat climate change.

The rollout of over 5,000 electric motorcycles within the next three years aligns with Kenya’s recent launch of the National E-mobility Policy, which advocates for local production and assembly of electric vehicles (EVs). With zero tailpipe emissions and reduced maintenance demands, these electric bikes offer a financially viable alternative for drivers, allowing them to amplify earnings while minimizing expenses.

As a key financier of e-bikes in Kenya, M-KOPA boasts financing approximately two-thirds of the nation’s electric motorcycles currently in operation. Through this collaboration, Bolt leverages M-KOPA’s fintech platform to make electric motorbike ownership more accessible by substantially reducing associated expenses for drivers.

It is estimated that this approach could lead to approximately 40% savings in total ownership costs compared to petrol motorbikes. By subsidizing vehicle costs, Bolt empowers drivers to opt for electric motorbikes at prices equal to or below those of their petrol counterparts. With diminished energy and maintenance expenditures, drivers stand to reduce vehicle operating costs by up to 75%. Riders on the Bolt platform can now access electric bikes for as low as KES 10,000-15,000 through vehicle financing, facilitated by the collaboration between M-KOPA, ROAM, and Ampersand.

Caroline Wanjihia, Regional Director of RideHailing Operations for Africa & International Markets, expressed excitement about introducing the electric bike fleet, emphasising Bolt’s mission to provide sustainable and financially viable transportation solutions in Kenya. She noted that this initiative not only reduces environmental impact but also enhances driver earnings, fostering economic stability within served communities.

David Damberger, Managing Director of M-KOPA Mobility, underscored the commitment to redefine mobility in Kenya through affordable financing solutions for electric motorbikes. He highlighted the partnership with Bolt as a significant step toward broadening their reach and supporting more customers in transitioning to sustainable transport solutions.

Combining digital micropayments with IoT technology, M-KOPA offers customers access to various assets, including electric motorcycles, without collateral or a guarantor. Drivers can access EV bikes by joining the fleet supported by M-KOPA, operating exclusively on the Bolt platform, and eventually owning the bikes after the lease period.

Mikael Gånge, CCO of ROAM, highlighted their charging infrastructure and battery systems’ efficiency, emphasizing the positive impact on operational costs for riders.

Josh Whale, Founder & CEO of Ampersand E-Mobility Kenya, expressed gratitude for Bolt and M-KOPA’s confidence in their electric vehicles and energy network. He emphasized the collaboration’s significance in advancing the ride-hailing and delivery industry in Kenya.

Initially deployed in Nairobi, Bolt, whose services span ride-hailing and food delivery, plans to expand the electric bike fleet in the future; aiming to create a sustainable and inclusive transportation ecosystem through strategic partnerships and collaborations with local stakeholders.

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