Ecobodaa is a Kenyan startup aiming to manufacture eco-friendly means of transport. In addition, startups are working towards controlling the emission of greenhouse gasses to the environment.
The startup started operating in January 2020. The two co-founders, Stephen Juma and Kimosop Chepkoit, made the first electric motorcycle taxi in Africa. The Kenyan-born engineers then promoted their product during an African innovation meetup hub.
East Africans call their motorcycle taxi bodaboda. So the founders thought about it and combined the word with ‘Eco.’ Hence the invention of the logo name Ecobodaa. The startup operates a cheap lease-to-own credit model. Kenya is a third-world country. So the company is ensuring there is an affordable way to sell its electric motorcycle. By using credit models, riders can acquire their motorcycles and save some funds.
There is also financial support as you can take the motorcycle on loan. Then, after paying a deposit, you pay the rest of the money with interest within one and half a year. This method has improved the number of riders owning their motorcycles to above 70%, the average number. Riders will decide whether to pay weekly, daily, or monthly through Mpesa payments. After the debt is over, the electric motorcycle becomes yours.
Advantages of electric motorcycles
When it comes to fuel energy, Ecobodaa’s product uses less fuel than normal motorcycles. As a result, the electric motorcycle saves 60%, a report by the bureau of statistics. Over 3 months, the mode of the electric motorcycle will save almost 80% of funds that could have been used in repairs. This means the founders develop a model which is easy to maintain. As a result, there are fewer chances of breakdown unless it involves a serious accident.
First electric motorcycle to work in slums
Ecobodaa released their first electric motorcycle in October, during the pandemic. The roll-out of the taxi was to focus on solving the informal settlement problem. The company settled some battery stations in the Kibera slums before launching the product in the area. Female bodaboda riders are at the forefront to embrace the use of eco-friendly motorcycles. The company has volunteered to train more than 100 women who receive qualified certificates from the government. During the launch, women were the first people to take the electric models on the road. It’s now a source of income for many mothers who dwell in the second-largest slum in Africa.
A word from the CEO
The CEO of Ecobodaa, Kimosop Chepkoit, had a lot to say during a live interview with NTSA. “We are proud to say that we have a product. We believe we will start an e-mobility revolution in the most common mode of last-mile transport in East Africa,”
African countries are working hard to control climate change. However, issues such as deforestation have led to inadequate rain in the world. Most companies release bio-degradable material which pollutes the land. Others end up releasing harmful gasses like carbon without caring about the ozone layer. The effects of global warming are a result of harmful gasses in the air.
Transport has been named as one of the air pollution modes in the world. All modes of transport, from vehicles to motorcycles, are the worst pollutants. It’s high time for a startup to work on this issue. Many vehicle-producing companies are shifting towards the production of electric cars. The use of electricity looks like the best solution. Many investors will never hesitate to venture into eco-friendly startups with a defined goal.
Kenya is one of the leading countries in Africa when it comes to innovation. They have embraced new technologies in various industries. Popular startups like Kuna, Ecobodaa and Kibanda TopUp are trending. Their respective CEOs invented them during a hard time of covid-19. Although innovation takes time to implement, they are promising startups.
Plans from Ecobodaa
Ecobodaa has promised to expand their company if the sales increase within the coming 5 years. Investors have made their way into the company to expand the infrastructure. Also, they will have to increase the human labor to manufacture as many electric motorcycles as possible. The supply should always outweigh the demand for any business.