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Nigeria to benefit from e-motorcycles market

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By Usman Oladimeji

E-motorcycles will be a major contributor to Africa's e-mobility market.

A recent report by the Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO) programme suggests that Nigeria is well-positioned to benefit from the $5.07 billion electric motorbikes market in sub-Saharan Africa. This is due to the high demand for motorcycles in the country, which are commonly referred to as “Okadas.” It is predicted that electric motorcycles will be a major contributor to Africa’s burgeoning e-mobility market, which was estimated to worth $3.65 billion in 2021. By 2027, it is anticipated that the market would reach a value of $5.07 billion.

PREO programme director Jon Lane argues that funding e-motorcycles is an effective way to combat climate change while also fostering more fair economic development in African communities. Lane noted that in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where roads are typically in poor condition, two-wheeled vehicles are preferable because they are quicker and simpler to manage. According to PREO, the key to realizing the full potential is to consistently invest in startups that address bottlenecks along the value chain.

Startups need investment to address the value chain constraints.

More than 90 percent of electric bikes marketed in sub-Saharan Africa are imported from China and India and are not built for African conditions. The majority of electric motorcycle companies in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report, depend on imported completely manufactured or complete knock-down (CKD) parts that are assembled locally. Unpaved roads, lengthy treks, and heavy business usage all contribute to the electric motorbikes wearing out quickly in the African region and sometimes the unbalanced terrain.

Electric motorcycles are predicted to lead the sustainable mobility transformation in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report; nevertheless, startups will need consistent investment to address the constraints across the value chain and fully grasp the market’s potential. Despite Nigeria’s growing economy and large population, and the country’s vast availability of raw materials, notably minerals and metals, for the production of electric vehicles, inadequate local manufacturing still creates a considerable imbalance that is covered by imports.

The research was released to show development in the e-mobility industry.

Furthermore, according to Lane, a comprehensive ecosystem of solutions has been developed via partnership with other start-ups to solve problems all along the value chain. He said the research was released to show the extraordinary development in the e-mobility industry. And to serve as a mass movement for investors, policymakers, and partners to work together to tackle the enormity of the problem. Among the companies offering such services in the African market include Roam, a Swedish-Kenyan firm that produces powerful electric motorbikes in Kenya.

PREO said that Roam presently has the capability to develop and build 35% of the vehicles in-house, with an aim of reaching 70% in the next 3–5 years. By these strategic alliances, the firm hopes to grow outside the Kenyan market. It plans to provide Uber with 3,000 electric motorcycles for use in its delivery services in sub-Saharan Africa and has raised $17.5 million in stock and loans for working capital. Roam’s co-founder and CEO, Filip Lövström, noted that with PREO’s help, the firm was able to rapidly evaluate its product-market fit, improve its business models, and create its next-generation electric motorbike.

Mobile Power is expected to address the dearth of superior batteries.

He said that with PREO’s support, the firm was able to bring to market a product that benefits both consumers and the environment. Additionally, Zembo, a Ugandan firm, manages one of the biggest networks of battery-swap stations for electric bikes, with 27 stations around the country. This solution allows e-motorcycles to be deployed even in places with little or intermittent access to power. Likewise, Mobile Power is expected to address the dearth of superior battery technology for enterprises of all sizes. The company has expanded its presence to Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.

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