2022 – Afternoon with some of Kenya’s electric mobility startups

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of spending time with some of the key players in Kenya’s burgeoning electric mobility scene. Ecobodaa has invited many players in the electric mobility industry to come and see the new generation of electric motorcycles, the Umeme 3000. We had a great time on a glorious Sunday afternoon. I had very good discussions with representatives from the Association for Electric Mobility and Development in Africa (AEMDA), Kiri EV, Mazi Mobility, Jua Fahrrad, and of course Kim, CEO of Ecobodaa.

It was really nice to hear live from everyone and get updates on the progress so far. There are probably between 10 and 15 companies dealing with the electric motorcycle sector in Nairobi. Most of them have been active for about 3 years and have run large scale beta programs. It appears that a large number of them are now moving from early stage pilot projects to small business ventures.

I have a lot of respect for all the enthusiastic young Kenyans who are building these companies that focus on e-mobility. Listening to their stories firsthand, I can say that they have spent a lot of time and work so far, mostly using their own personal resources, along with some involvement in business accelerators, as well as some seed and seed investments. Now they are all working to get to the next level. It is never easy to start and grow a business which is why all these companies need all the support they can get to take it to the next level. Whether it is technical support, guidance from seasoned experts in the automotive and manufacturing industries, or more financial support, they are all welcome.

I have a feeling the mobility sector is probably at a similar stage to the solar C&I sector that was in this part of the world about 7 years ago. The solar C&I sector has grown rapidly since then and more and more players are joining the sector. With more than 2 million ICE motorcycles in Kenya and millions more across East Africa, there is definitely a huge market to reach. Much remains to be done to realize this potential. Continuous development and improvement of products as well as work on the innovation side of the business model requires a significant amount of money. The important thing is that the foundation is now in place and all these smart, hard-working local teams have played a major role in building that foundation. They are now working hard to take things to the next level. There is something special brewing in Nairobi’s e-mobility scene. You need as much support as possible to realize this potential.

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