Nairobi News


Move over fuel bike! Electric boda boda is here!

Boda boda riders in Kenya are set to benefit from electric motorbikes, which will save them at least Sh350 daily on fuel and maintenance fees.

This development comes as ARC Ride, in collaboration with their financing partner Watu, introduces the highly anticipated Zoom and Corbett motorbikes.

ARC Ride’s electric motorcycles have been developed locally through extensive research to ensure they meet local needs, including optimised range, speed, and ground clearance.

Not only are these bikes environmentally friendly, but they also require minimal maintenance as they operate without oil, chains, gears, or the need for traditional fuel.

The firm has established a network of automated battery swap stations across Nairobi, enabling riders to save valuable working hours that would otherwise be spent on charging.

Currently, there are over 50 operational swap stations in the city, with an additional 50 set to be deployed between July and September this year.

“We are offering the Zoom and Corbett motorcycles, which will contribute to supporting the government’s goal of transforming the transport sector with clean and affordable mobility.

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Partnering with Watu ensures all riders can pay a daily fee similar to the cost of financing a petrol motorbike.

The move is also significant because it signifies our contribution towards partnering with the government to demonstrate Kenya’s leadership in the global race to net zero,” noted George Songe, Operations Manager, ARC Ride Kenya, during the event.

To make electric bikes more affordable, the firm has introduced a unique approach by decoupling the cost of the battery from the retail price of the bike.

Riders can opt for Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS) rental packages at Sh350 per day or pay as low as Sh185 for individual swaps, making battery swaps more cost-effective than purchasing petrol.

ARC Ride’s “infrastructure-first” approach places them at the forefront of Kenya’s e-mobility revolution. By combining lightweight batteries, a user-friendly mobile application, and convenient swap cabinets, ARC Ride ensures a seamless experience for customers.

Riders have the choice to buy the Corbett and Zoom outright for Sh180,000 each, or pay as little as Sh450 a day through Watu.

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Erick Massawe, the Country Manager, Kenya for Watu, expressed confidence in the partnership, stating, “We believe the future of the mobility industry is electric.

Through our collaboration with ARC Ride, we aim to revolutionise the electric motorbike industry in Kenya and eventually in Africa, improving access and affordability.

By partnering with Watu, ARC Ride ensures that potential buyers have access to flexible financing solutions that make owning an electric motorbike more accessible.

This approach tackles the financial barriers that may otherwise hinder riders from embracing the benefits of electric mobility.

Through affordable instalments, boda boda riders can now embark on their transition towards sustainable transportation.

Financing empowers riders to capitalise on these cost advantages, channelling their resources towards other essential needs or investments.

Given that each boda rider directly supports 8 family members on average, saving money on running costs each day will provide widespread benefits to many of the most financially vulnerable in Nairobi.

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