eWaka, a Kenyan technology solutions start-up is entering the electric vehicle market. The Nairobi-based start-up will offer electric mobility options to improve the economic prospects of the African continent in terms of sustainable development.
So far, eWaka has presented itself as one of Kenya’s up-and-coming technology solutions companies, especially with its mobile app that allows for real-time vehicle tracking, performance metrics monitoring and geo-tagging for remote immobilization. Only, the start-up will launch in the coming months the production of electric vehicles to “revolutionize green mobility on the African continent.”
Based in the capital Nairobi, the company aims to increase safety and improve the operating performance of transport vehicles. This response to the growing needs of transport in Africa is the reason for the fundraising that the start-up has launched to set up a local assembly plant for electric vehicles and the extension of its technological solutions.
According to its managers, eWaka’s offering consists of a full range of electric vehicles for a diverse customer base, including delivery companies and healthcare providers, as well as hotels and schools.
The sustainability challenge
“Vehicle options include electric bodas (motorcycle cabs) the backbone of the local delivery sector in Africa, and ride-sharing options, including scooters and electric bicycles. eWaka’s sustainable response to specific transportation challenges will improve the financial and operational performance of companies in the sector,” said Celeste Vogel, co-founder, president and CEO of eWaka.
eWaka’s electric mobility solution is expected to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions including carbon dioxide (CO2) from thermal vehicles. Also, the company intends to offer solutions for recharging electric vehicles via off-grid solar systems.
Currently, Kenya has about 350 electric vehicles that help combat air pollution and the effects of climate change, according to the Kenyan Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works. Green mobility is slowly but surely developing in several countries on the continent, such as South Africa and Egypt.
The race to a green future
South Africa has one of the most developed electric mobility markets in Africa with new investors such as “CityBug”, an initiative of the Chinese carmaker Eleksa, and the German Audi, which launched its “e-tron” electric car range a few weeks ago in Johannesburg and Pretoria. In Kenya, three companies are conquering the regional electric car market, namely Opibus, Fika Mobility and BasiGo. The latter has just introduced electric buses to facilitate public transport in Nairobi. The company has also announced the local production of 1,000 K6 (25-seat buses) by 2030.
According to David Rubia, head of the Air Quality and Mobility Unit at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), over-reliance on fossil fuels and current geopolitical tensions have highlighted the need for rapid adoption of alternative sources of sustainable, reliable and affordable mobility.