SPIRO has signed a partnership with the government to deploy electric motorbikes and charging & swapping stations in Uganda. The signing was held at the Serena Hotel in Kampala last week and is seen as an unprecedented step in the transition of African cities to more sustainable mobility.
The signing of the agreement is a demonstration of SPIRO’s commitment to contribute to the vision of Uganda which places the migration from fossil fuels to electric transport as one of its priorities.
“We are not just sitting and waiting for the global conflicts to calm down and bring down the price of fuel. We are working on plans to shift to electric buses, electric cars, and electric piki pikis,” said President Museveni. “The quickest move may be on Piki pikis. We have agreed with some investors, to take away the petrol/diesel ones and give the owners the electric ones.”
The partnership becomes the first between an African government and a green mobility company in Africa and will create over 9,000 jobs. Additionally, an electric motorbike assembly plant will be built to promote “made in Uganda” and will offer affordable electric motorbikes for future users thanks to this factory as they will be able to save up to 40%.
Shegun Adjadi Bakari, the CEO of SPIRO and partner at the African Fund for Transformation & Industrialization (ATIF) remarked that electric two-wheelers are the future of sustainable mobility in Africa. “Our rollout speed of more than 4,500 electric motorbikes in less than a year of operation and the commitment of Africa’s authorities, such as the one made by President Yoweri Museveni, demonstrates this,” said Bakari.
SPIRO will deploy 140,000 electric motorbikes into the Ugandan market over the next five years, as well as develop over 3,000 recharging and battery swapping stations across the country to support this transition, which will mainly target “boda-bodas”, motorbike taxi riders.
“Boda-boda taxis now account for more than 40% of travel flows in Kampala and more in other cities across the country. By targeting these users, we are clearly demonstrating our commitment to addressing the climate and health challenges posed by the pollution associated with our current modes of transport,” said Bakari.
According to Bakari, the motorbikes are specially designed and adapted for the African market. In addition, the swapping technology allows users to easily travel with no range limits, and the battery swap station takes 3 minutes to swap batteries, compared to the usual 3 hours for a standard charge.
The deployment of electric motorbikes, a reliable charging and battery-swapping network is in line with Uganda’s ambitions to become one of the leading countries for sustainable electric transportation in Africa.
SPIRO’s deployment relies on the support of investors such as ATIF, which has invested more than 50 million dollars in the startup. The electric vehicle company performs over 130,000 swaps from more than 250 operational battery-swapping stations per month across Benin, Togo, and Rwanda. The company will use the same for Uganda where drivers will be able to hand in their old motorbikes for the new electric motorbikes.
SPIRO aims to be the leading partner on the continent for countries that want to accelerate their transition to greener mobility.