Kisumu governor Professor Peter Anyang Nyongo has announced that his county will start the local production of electric motorbikes at the County’s business innovation and Incubation centre.
The governor announced this when he received a donation of 15 motor bikes from the United Nations Environmental Programe UNEP as part of the county’s campaign to reduce air pollution.
Kisumu has been on the frontline of advocating for the use of electric motorbikes since the Launch of Kenya’s Electric Mobility Pilot during the Fourth UN Environmental Assembly which was attended by Governor Nyongo in 2019. The event also attended by Mr. Huang Jiangsong, Vice General Manager, Shenzhen Shenling Car Company Limited (TAILG), Mr. Jochen Flasbarth – State Secretary at German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and Mr. Rob de Jong, Head Air Quality and Mobility at UN Environment; set the ball rolling for Africa’s shift to electric mobility
According to UNEP, a majority of motorcycles in East Africa are used as taxis in response to congestion and economic pressures. They are also the largest source of self-employment for urban youth. Shifting towards electric mobility as opposed to fuel-based mobility is an opportunity for youth to maximize on profits from their daily earnings. Electric motorcycles have a much lower operating cost than internal combustion engine, thus a transition to electric would improve livelihood of thousands of youth in East Africa.
UN Environment is also implementing a project funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) titled “Integrating Electric 2&3 Wheelers into Existing Urban Transport Modes in Developing and Transitional Countries”. Experts agree that 2&3 wheelers are the priority in moving to electric mobility as they provide net carbon benefits regardless of electricity-carbon mix. This project will see to a transformative integration of electric 2&3 wheelers into existing urban transport modes via piloting and development of a comprehensive policy framework in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The Kisumu plant is expected to be the first ever comprehensive electric motorcycle pilot in East Africa serving to raise awareness for electric mobility and to provide crucial data to stakeholders for policy formulation.