Charge Up! is establishing a network of charging stations in Nairobi, Kenya which charge a flat battery swap fee for electric two- and three-wheelers. The partnership analyzed the commercial viability of a Battery as a Service (BaaS) model and provided recommendations for key stakeholders accelerating e-mobility.
P4G has provided the partnership with US $295,132 in grant funding.
Currently electric two-wheelers (also known as e-bikes or electric motorcycles) in Kenya cost around USD $1,350-1,500, and the battery accounts for 40% of that cost, making it too expensive for most Kenyans to afford. Charge Up! worked with e-mobility companies, including ARC Ride and Fika Mobility, to establish charging stations in Nairobi that enable drivers to conveniently swap out their batteries quickly and affordably, reducing their operational costs. The partnership piloted the BaaS model to delink battery and bike ownership, making the upfront cost more affordable. Measures like these are key to help Kenya achieve its target of 5% vehicle electrification by 2025.
To mobilize knowledge around the nascent e-mobility sector in Kenya, ChargeUp! published analyses and key recommendations for businesses, policymakers and investors involved in the e-mobility transition.
The partnership addressed the knowledge gap around the potential profitability of the battery-as-a-service model as part of a drive to attract charging site operators. It also addressed dearth of data around e-motorcycle usage in African cities by presenting real analytics data from e-motorcycles and battery swap stations in Nairobi.
The partnership’s research found that two batteries per vehicle is optimal to ensure smooth operation of the sites. Geospatial data from the deployed e-motorcycles also helped pinpoint the optimal locations for the stations. Seeing the value of the partnership’s approach, several businesses have confirmed interest in partnering as either sales partners or site operators.
With a strong focus on policy, the partnership an overview of this e-mobility landscape in Kenya, including various policies, laws, regulations, plans, strategies, and major projects related to e-mobility. It also identified the critical fiscal and non-fiscal incentives required in the short- to medium-term, such as tax and import duties waivers for electric vehicles and equipment, an incentives program for installing charging infrastructure, establishing Low Emissions Zones and charging areas in cities, and making technology compatible across providers. Through the publication of such research, Charge Up! delivered an accessible and replicable plan for driving the uptake of e-motorcycles in cities across Africa.
ChargeUp! participated in several P4G National Platform workshops to share its learnings and collaborate with other e-mobility providers in the country. With a forum to highlight policy recommendations, the partnership was able to liaise with representatives from the Ministry of Transport and the National Treasury, among others, to collaborate on best practices for accelerating e-mobility. Expanded access to electric mobility will also help reduce air pollution, providing long-term health benefits to Nairobi residents.
Going forward, the partnership will develop a more user-friendly platform to share best practices and make information on charging stations more accessible.