In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable urban mobility, Bolt, an on-demand mobility company, in partnership with M-KOPA, a leading African fintech platform, has unveiled its electric bike fleet in Kenya.

This initiative, announced on Monday, signifies a pivotal step in Bolt's commitment to bolstering driver earnings while championing eco-conscious transportation solutions in the region.

The collaboration offers new and existing drivers the opportunity to lease ROAM and Ampersand electric motorbikes at discounted rates compared to prevailing market prices.

This strategic endeavour underscores Bolt's dedication to slashing operational costs for drivers, concurrently aligning with global endeavours to combat climate change through eco-friendly urban transportation alternatives.

With the recent introduction of Kenya’s National E-mobility Policy, advocating for local production and assembly of Electric Vehicles (EVs), the timing of Bolt and M-KOPA's electric motorcycle rollout couldn't be more apt.

These electric bikes, with zero tailpipe emissions and reduced maintenance needs, present a cost-effective option for drivers, enabling them to amplify their earnings while curbing expenses.

M-KOPA, renowned as Kenya's largest financier of electric motorbikes, has already financed approximately two-thirds of the electric bikes traversing Kenya's roads.

Through this synergy, Bolt leverages M-KOPA’s fintech platform to make electric motorbike ownership financially viable, substantially mitigating associated expenses for drivers.

Estimates suggest a potential 40 per cent reduction in total ownership costs compared to petrol motorbikes, with Bolt's subsidization making electric bikes competitively priced.

Consequently, drivers could witness up to a 75 per cent decrease in vehicle operating costs, translating to significantly augmented daily earnings compared to petrol motorcycles.

M-KOPA, ROAM and Ampersand have partnered to allow Bolt Riders in Nairobi to access electric bikes for as low as Sh10,000- 15,000 through vehicle financing. This means Riders can pay for the e-bikes over time.

Caroline Wanjihia, Regional Director of Ride-Hailing Operations, Africa & International Markets at Bolt, expressed excitement about the initiative, stating, "This marks a significant milestone in Bolt's mission to provide sustainable and financially viable transportation solutions in Kenya."

Wanjihia emphasized the dual objective of reducing environmental impact and enhancing driver welfare, highlighting the potential for substantial increases in daily earnings for participating drivers.

David Damberger, Managing Director of M-KOPA Mobility, echoed this sentiment, underscoring the partnership's role in advancing sustainable transport solutions in Kenya.

"We’re committed to redefining mobility in Kenya through affordable financing solutions for electric motorbikes, particularly for the underbanked," Damberger stated.

"Partnering with Bolt represents a significant leap towards this goal, enabling us to broaden our reach and support more customers in transitioning to sustainable transport solutions."

Damberger emphasized the environmental benefits of reducing carbon emissions and fuel costs, aligning with Kenya's sustainable development objectives.

"Already, we have made substantial inroads since launching our Mobility division in 2022, in collaboration with ROAM and Ampersand," he added.

"With over 2 million motorbikes navigating Kenya's roads, now is the time for us to extend our reach, as we set to positively impact the environment significantly by reducing carbon emissions and saving on fuel costs—an essential keystone of Kenya's sustainable development."

The collaboration leverages digital micropayments and IoT technology to grant drivers access to electric motorcycles without requiring collateral or a guarantor.

Drivers, upon joining the M-KOPA supported fleet and exclusively operating on the Bolt platform, can eventually own the bikes after the lease period.

Mikael Gånge, CCO of ROAM, highlighted the efficiency-enhancing features of the electric bikes, emphasizing the partnership's focus on sustainability and cost reduction for Boda riders.

"Our at-home and portable charging options, extensive Roam Hub service network, and dual battery system empower delivery riders to increase efficiency without worrying about battery depletion," Gånge said,

"Through this strategic partnership with Bolt, we're not only promoting sustainability but also cutting operational costs remarkably for Boda riders, making a meaningful impact where it matters most, and creating a better future for all."

Meanwhile, Josh Whale, Founder & CEO of Ampersand E-Mobility Kenya, commended the collaboration for its scalability and positive impact on both motorcycle riders and end-users.

"Our partnership with Bolt will lead the industry forward by adopting the most commercially scalable structure for E-Mobility and energy providers that we've encountered," Whale remarked.

"This saves more money for more motorcycle riders and more end users, and at the same time drives e-mobility forward at the pace that Kenya's economy, environment and the continued habitability of our planet all demand: A more scalable, win-win all round."

Bolt's environmental initiatives date back to 2019, with investments in renewable energy and resource conservation projects.

The introduction of Bolt Green in 2021 further solidified its commitment to eco-friendly transportation, offering hybrid and electric cars on its platform to reduce emissions and expand economic opportunities for drivers.

Initially launching in Nairobi, Bolt plans to expand its electric bike fleet soon, aiming to create a sustainable and inclusive transportation ecosystem through strategic partnerships with local stakeholders.

As Kenya strides towards a greener future, Bolt and M-KOPA's collaborative effort stands as a beacon of innovation and sustainability in the mobility sector.