e-Commerce firm; Sokowatch today launched its new fleet of electric tuk tuk vehicles in Uganda to be used for delivery, making the vehicles the first of its kind to be used commercially in East Africa. The new tuk tuks mark a company-wide push at Sokowatch to build cleaner and more sustainable environments in its operating markets.
Sokowatch’s Country Manager for Uganda, Peter Muzoora, at the launch said, in Kampala, air quality is 6x worse than global standards and as a company built around improving the livelihoods of local communities, they took the direct approach to address the issue.
“We launched in Kampala last year and when we arrived, we made a commitment to be a business that would add and not take away from our local communities. The launch of our electric tuk tuks shows this wasn’t just lip-service. Every day, we witness the impact of carbon emissions and noise pollution on this city, which is why this project is so important and also why we’re proud to be a company leading active change in Kampala,” says Muzoora.
The vehicles are built by Gayam Motor Works, and assembled in Uganda by a team led by Sokowatch’s head mechanic and engineer, Ms. Mary Nankinga. Notably, Gayam is known for working with companies like Amazon, IKEA and Flipkart. The tuk tuks can carry up to 500kgs worth of commodities and have been estimated to make deliveries to 35 shops daily within 2 hours of order. The new fleet of vehicles take 3 hours to charge and last for approximately 2-3 days.
The electric vehicles according to Sokowatch, will play a critical role in the company’s service, which employs tech-enabled solutions to improve supply chain inefficiencies for informal retailers.
In Africa’s cities alone, there are more than 10 million informal shops selling over USD$180 billion worth of goods every year. Despite their importance to local economies, these shops routinely stock out of products, have limited access to financial services, and lack proper business management tools.
However, Sokowatch enables informal retailers to order products at any time via SMS or mobile app and receive free same-day delivery to their store. Using historic purchasing data, the platform also evaluates retailers to provide them with access to credit and other financial services typically not available to informal businesses.
Sokowatch is revolutionizing access to essential goods and services across 9 major cities in East Africa.