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[Rwanda] Electric mobility startup Ampersand achieves major milestone with 1,000 motorcycles

[Rwanda] Electric mobility startup Ampersand achieves major milestone with 1,000 motorcycles

Ampersand, the Kigali-based electric motorcycle startup now has more than 1,000 commercial-use electric motorcycles on the roads in Rwanda and Kenya.

This is more than any other electric motorcycle company in Africa with the company planning to reach 3,000 by the end of 2023.  

"Our team is incredibly proud of this achievement", said Alp Tilev, co-founder and CTO  of Ampersand. "Our e-motos have been embraced by the community as a reliable, climate-friendly and cost-effective mode of transportation. We are ramping up local production of our battery packs to meet growing client demand for our e-motos and continuing  to innovate for a more sustainable public transport option for East Africans." 

Ampersand launched its first electric motorcycles and battery swap stations four years ago. The company currently has a network of 25 battery-swap stations across Kenya and Rwanda where riders can swap out depleted batteries for fully charged ones in only 2 minutes. Ampersand works exclusively with commercial delivery and taxi motorcycle drivers, who earn 50% more than with petrol bikes due to fuel and maintenance savings, all while reducing harmful carbon emissions.  

Ampersand says it’s focused on providing the fuel network of the future and working with a variety of motorcycle manufacturers to serve this market. Its success it says is partly due to the focus on R&D from day one, being the only company to commercially develop and manufacture battery packs for motorcycles on the ground in Africa, creating green jobs. 

By combining its reliable, smart battery pack with its low-cost swap stations and batter fleet software backend, Ampersand riders now spend less per km than on fuel-powered motorcycles or any other electric motorcycle on offer.  

Transportation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions globally. Sustainable mobility for all is one of the United Nations SDGs, meaning that clean transport is essential to meeting the target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050. In addition to reducing emissions, the co-benefits of electrification include a reduction in air and sound pollution, cost savings to African economies, riders and commuters, and a more resilient transportation economy that is less reliant on volatile energy markets. 

"We believe that e-mobility is the future of transportation in Africa, and we are committed to making it accessible to as many people as possible," said Josh Whale, co-founder and CEO of Ampersand. 

"Our partnerships with fuel network operators like Total Energies and SP have also been critical to our success, allowing us to expand our network and reach new customers whilst building a low-carbon future for the continent’s existing transport energy infrastructure. Smart EV policies in East Africa, especially in Rwanda and soon in Kenya, have created an enabling environment for our growth. We look forward to increasing the number of e-motorcycles further and playing our part in developing more sustainable public transport systems for future generations.” he added.







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