E-Boda-Boda launch in Kenya; a promising transition to electric mobility
The UN Environmental Programme in collaboration with the Kenyan government launched a pilot E-boda-boda project at Karura Forest, Nairobi.
The project is in line with the Paris Climate Agreement to achieve zero carbon emissions/ air pollution, promote national clean energy transition, and creation of green jobs.
The UNEP Deputy Executive Director noted that Kenya is importing more motorcycles than cars. The motorcycle is too polluting as they are generally inefficient and poorly maintained.
Kenya produces 80% of green energy through solar, wind, geothermal, and water. Shifting to electric mobility will reduce air pollution, greenhouse gases as well as enhancing job creation.
Motorcycles are estimated to be more polluting, 10 times per mile than a passenger car, said Kisumu County Governor, Peter Nyong’o. Air pollution through vehicles emits hydrocarbons which are harmful to human health.
He added that E- boda-boda project initiative will help mitigate human health hazards and reduce air and noise pollution caused by petroleum-powered motorcycles.
Kenya was estimated to have 1.5 million newly registered motorcycles in 2018 and is projected to over five million by 2030.
Kenya like other developing countries have a high increasing number of bikes but without vehicle emissions standards and incentives to promote zero-emission vehicles.
The pilot project will help policymakers assess the feasibility of the project address barriers to technological shift towards vehicle electric mobility.
Electric mobility is also underway at the global level with the developed nations such as China, United States, and Norway taking up the initiative.
The developed nations are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and taking up the initiative will curb carbon emissions.
Transition to electric mobility requires infrastructural investments in batteries. Kenya has sufficient capacity to charge electric batteries.
However, with high demand for motorcycles especially in the rural area- which has inadequate distribution capacity; efforts will be needed to increase charging capacity.