Sun Run - Sustainable Transport Africa

P4G Theme

Energy Transition




Countries of Operation

Kenya ,


The Sun Run - Sustainable Transport Africa partnership will bring the e-mobility transformation to rural Kenya through the sale of electric motorcycles, battery swapping stations and charging stations that also function as cold storage hubs.

Investing in Impact

P4G awarded this partnership with US $130,280 in grant funding in 2022 and US $402,071 in 2024. 

This is a partnership comprising two start-ups, E-Safiri and Kiri E.V., who will structure a joint venture called Sun Run. Sustainable Transport Africa serves as the lead administrative partner and Glasgow Caledonian University serves as the research and capacity building partner. 

In rural Kenya, most residents use two- or three-wheelers for transportation of people and goods. With increased fluctuations in fuel prices, women led agricultural communities and small business owners face high operating costs. 

To address barriers to rural e-mobility adoption, Sun Run will use electric three-wheelers that are designed for use in rural African communities, build local capacity to maintain and service the vehicles, and lease the vehicle through pay-as-you-go (PayGo) so that it costs the same upfront as a petrol vehicle. On the charging side, Sun Run will set up reliable and affordable charging stations, ensure the PayGo costs cover charging and basic service of the vehicle, and enable dual use of the infrastructure by both charging vehicles and providing energy for other productive uses.   

The project aims to provide affordable, reliable and sustainable transport solutions and other productive uses of renewable energy solutions such as cold storage within the fishing community. The business has several revenue streams: 

  • Sale of electric motorcycles (primary source of revenue) 
  • Battery swap stations with weekly and monthly plans for corporate clients (secondary source of revenue) 
  • Solar powered charging stations that will serve as cold storage hubs (additional source of revenue) 
  • Service and maintenance of vehicles and sales of accessories (additional source of revenue) 
  • Charging other accessories such as phones and radios (additional source of revenue) 

Since transport barriers disproportionately affect women, Sun Run emphasizes the inclusion of women as swapping operators, riders and overall beneficiaries of the electric mobility ecosystem. The partnership will conduct research on the needs of women group communities in Kisumu and Homabay counties. It will also provide knowledge transfer to women groups on business models and capacity building for riders on battery safety and benefits of electric vehicle adoption. 

The partnership emphasizes the importance of building the capacity of organized groups of women and young people in rural communities on electric mobility, cold storage solutions, battery swapping and charging activities and safely handling lithium-ion batteries. 

On August 1, 2023, during the first P4G funding period, Sun Run celebrated the launch of its first solar powered battery charging and swapping hub for rural mobility. Located in Dunga Beach, Kisumu County, Kenya, the hub is primarily used to charge electric fleets. The excess power is used to provide security lighting for nighttime traders and for phone and lantern charging. 

In May 2023, Sun Run carried out a workshop with partners to discuss challenges and avenues for collaboration. Kiri E.V. representatives demonstrated how to ride the electric 2 and 3-wheelers and answered questions about the electric vehicles. The partnership also participated in national discussions about e-mobility policy led by the P4G Kenya National Platform. Sun Run collaborates with the county government of Kisumu to help enable systems integration for data collection and sharing and assistance with permits. 

During the second P4G funding period from 2024 to 2025, Sun Run aims to raise an additional US $1.5 million in investment and create 90 new jobs. It will install, implement and test three solar powered charging hubs at cold storage centers and will design and deploy 50 electric bikes. Sun Run will also sign and execute its joint venture agreement and develop 10 Sun Run agency contracts for distributing the bikes. 

The partnership comprises the following partners: E-Safiri (lead business partner); Kiri E.V. (lead business partner); Sustainable Transport Africa (lead administrative partner); Glasgow Caledonian University (lead research and capacity building partner)



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