Following a successful pilot programme in Africa, Uber and electric vehicle developer, Opibus have entered into a strategic partnership to promote EV adoption across the continent.
As part of the agreement, Opibus will provide 3,000 of its unique electric motorcycles to support Uber’s growing demand for emissions-free drivers across the continent.
Founded in 2017, initially as a research project, the Swedish-Kenyan technology company develops, designs, and manufactures electric vehicles to help transition the African continent toward more sustainable transportation.
Opibus is on a mission to implement electric mobility in emerging markets. This includes EV conversions of mining SUVs, energy storage, and ground-up builds of both electric motorcycles and passenger buses – some of the first to be manufactured in Kenya.
The partnership with Uber will enable Opibus supply a large number of electric motorcycles, while Uber will help Opibus scale its production to enter more countries in Africa.
Mikael Gånge, co-founder and chief sales officer, Opibus, said:
“We’re seeing a huge demand for locally designed electric motorcycles on the African continent, and by working with Uber we’ve now been able to prove the feasibility for large scale deployment. Next year we’re scaling up our production to meet the market demand, both in Kenya and in the region.”
Opibus affirms the motorcycle industry to be the single largest employer in Kenya, estimated to provide jobs for over 1,200,000 youth. However, the over 1,600,000 motorcycles registered in the country, are still operated using gasoline and combustion, causing massive amounts of emissions and noise pollution.
To combat this, Obipus has been able to create its own electric motorcycle priced equivalent to its gasoline counterparts.
Uber is gradually achieving its goal of becoming a fully electric, zero-emission platform by 2040, with 100% of rides taking place in ZEVs. Frans Hiemstra, general manager, Uber sub-Saharan Africa emphasised this:
“We are doing our part to help transform mobility in the country by helping to reduce carbon emissions. Uber is continuously looking for ways to improve the customer experience, and we have a responsibility to invest in product innovations that are safe, reliable, durable, environmentally friendly, and have a sustainable impact on drivers and cities. This collaboration with Opibus will do just that.”