Electric motorcycle companies bet on asset financing


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Electric motorcycle companies bet on asset financing

Workers at the General Car and Motorcycle Assembly Plant in Nakuru. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Electric motorcycle companies are leveraging partnerships with specialist asset finance lenders to drive sales in Kenya targeting boda boda riders.

Swedish-Kenyan tech company Roam has partnered with M-KOPA to deliver a fleet of motorcycles by the end of 2022, in time for a mass rollout in early 2023.

ARC Ride Kenya, which has launched a factory in Kenya producing 500 two- and three-wheel electric scooters and bicycles every month, has also partnered with M-KOPA and Watu Credit to be able to offer the product on flexible financing terms.

Kenya and the region are rapidly catching up on electric mobility, but cost remains a major barrier to switching from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Manufacturers are turning to asset finance companies that offer flexible “pay-as-you-go” terms that allow riders to acquire the units and pay as they earn income.

Roam said that by combining the power of digital micropayments with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, M-KOPA enables underbanked customers to access a wide range of collateral-free products and services.

“M-KOPA will help roll out motorcycles through its innovative ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ model, which gives customers instant access to products while growing ownership over time through flexible micro-payments. “said Mikael Gånge, co-founder and chief commercial officer, Roam.

Kenya is racing against time to catch up with the rest of the world in shifting to clean mobility as part of efforts to reduce environmental pollution.

The country has more than 1,000 low-carbon vehicles and dealers expect an increase due to high fuel costs.

Recent geopolitical tensions in Europe following Russia’s war in Ukraine have seen fuel prices soar beyond the reach of most motorists.

Car and General (C&G) announced in January that it would start selling electric vehicles and tuk-tuks as part of a plan to diversify into the “green” mobility sector which is expected to develop in a context of fight against climate change and pollution.

Kenyan electric vehicle startup BasiGo has raised $4.3 million in seed funding and launched a 5 million shilling electric passenger bus in anticipation of increased demand for environmentally friendly transport.

The 25-seater bus, designed by the world’s largest electric bus manufacturer BYD Automotive, has a range of 250 kilometers with a charging time of less than four hours.

Buyers will also be subject to a daily subscription fee of 20 shillings per kilometer to cover the cost of battery rental, overnight charging at a BasiGo depot and servicing and maintenance of the buses.

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