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Bolt maximises driver earnings with 5,000 electric motorbikes in Kenya

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Shared micromobility operator Bolt will roll out 5,000 electric motorcycles in Kenya over the next three years.

Bolt will leverage African fintech platform M-Kopa – one of the largest financing platforms for electric motorbikes in Kenya – to bring 300 new electric motorbikes to Nairobi in the first half of 2024, and 1,000 across Kenya by the end of the year.

The partnership will enable Bolt drivers to take out a lease for the electric motorbikes from African electric transport companies Roam and Ampersand at a discounted price, leading to 40% savings in total ownership costs compared to petrol motorbikes. 

“We know from driver feedback that the high up-front cost (initial down payment) is a barrier to adopting electric vehicles,” Caroline Wanjihia, Regional Director, Ride-hailing Operations, Africa & International Markets at Bolt, told Zag Daily. 

“Bolt and M-Kopa aim to empower drivers by offering them more affordable down payments and lease costs, ultimately transferring ownership to the driver after the lease period ends.”

To do this, drivers will be offered to subscribe to a 24-month lease-to-own agreement with daily or weekly instalments according to their needs. 

Caroline added that Bolt will subsidise up to 20% of the price of electric motorbikes for drivers depending on the model. It will also enable drivers to reduce their vehicle operating costs by up to 75% due to lower energy and maintenance costs.

“This will allow drivers to opt for an electric motorbike at the equivalent retail sales price of a petrol one – the only such offer in the market.”

The new fleet has zero tailpipe emissions and comes shortly after the launch of Kenya’s National E-Mobility Policy which promotes the local production and assembly of electric vehicles.

“In the near term future, electric motorbikes will be the vehicles accelerating Kenya’s transition to low-emission transport.

“Electric motorbikes with battery swapping offer a sustainable electrification opportunity in Kenya, enhancing mobility, employment, and income while reducing carbon emissions and pollution. Motorbikes are expected to electrify the fastest in Kenya, with electric two-wheeler sales expected to rise to 50-70% of all sales by 2040.”

M-Kopa Mobility Managing Director David Damberger said: “As the leading financier of electric motorbikes in Kenya, we’re committed to redefining mobility in Kenya through affordable financing solutions for electric motorbikes, particularly for the underbanked.

“Partnering with Bolt represents a significant leap towards this goal, enabling us to broaden our reach and support more customers in transitioning to sustainable transport solutions.”

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