Motorcycle sales in Kenya grew by 15.6% in 2021. This follows impressive growth of 17.4% in the lockdown-hit 2020, according to the latest Economic survey from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). Motorcycle registrations increased from 246,705 units in 2020 to 285,203 units in 2021. The number of motorcycles registered in 2021 was more than 1.5 times the number of motorcycles registered in 2018! The impressive growth over the past 6 years is shown in the table below:
The motorcycle segment is now the largest vehicle segment in Kenya as shown by the vehicle registrations in the table below:
Essentially, 99% of those 285,203 motorcycles are ICE motorcycles. There is a huge opportunity to electrify this industry, which is why many startups have launched electric motorcycle pilot programs over the past couple of years. These companies are gearing up to grow and transform the motorcycle industry in Kenya.
Some of the companies leading the way are:
Motorcycles are mainly used as public transport vehicles in Kenya. These motorcycle taxis are known as boda bodas. The motorcycle taxi industry is a vital segment of Kenya’s economy. These motorcycle taxi drivers make 22 million trips a day, and the average daily earnings of drivers are close to 700 shillings ($6.60). Boda boda operators collect 980 million shillings ($9.2 million) daily and the industry’s annual revenue is estimated at 357 billion shillings ($3.3 billion). The transition of this sector to electric will also make a huge difference in the pockets of bike owners as well as cyclists. Many startups are offering innovative financing arrangements, including models where you can buy the bike and then lease the batteries, reducing upfront costs. Range anxiety fears are also eliminated by offering battery swap services.
It is also important to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Kenya’s largest vehicle segment to reduce emissions. Kenya’s network is already very clean. Renewables provided 92.3% of Kenya’s electricity generation in 2020! By gradually increasing the penetration of electric motorcycles in Kenya, significant savings in CO2 emissions can be achieved. This can be achieved by incentivizing the purchase of new electric motorcycles, as well as accelerating the conversion of older motorcycles to electric.
Image courtesy of Roam.
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