Sat, 17 Apr 2021

UNEP rolls out electric bikes project in Kenya

Xinhua
03 Mar 2021, 03:30 GMT+10

NAIROBI, March 2 (Xinhua) -- The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on Tuesday launched a pilot electric bikes project in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, setting the ball rolling for Africa's shift to electric mobility.

The project which saw 49 motorcycles from China's Tailing Technology Group made little noise but raised much interest in Nairobi's Karura Forest aims to help policymakers assess the barriers in uptake of the much-needed technological shift towards electric bikes, and to demonstrate that the shift is feasible and within reach.

Joyce Msuya, UNEP deputy executive director said Kenya is importing more motorcycles than cars, doubling its fleet every 7-8 years, noting that the motorcycles are generally inefficient and poorly maintained polluting.

"Kenya's electricity is very green in 2019 with more than 80 percent was generated by hydro, solar, geothermal, and wind. Shifting to electric bikes in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and elsewhere will reduce costs, air pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, as well as create jobs," Msuya said in a statement issued after the launch.

According to UNEP, a global leapfrog to electric vehicles, already underway in countries like Norway and China, is essential to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The pilot project which was rolled out in four locations in Kenya is expected to expand in an effort to reduce air pollution, improve national energy security and create green jobs.

The number of Kenya's newly registered motorcycles, commonly used as taxis (boda-boda), was estimated in 2018 at 1.5 million and will likely grow over five million by 2030, according to the UNEP.

It said though developing countries have the fastest growing fleets of bikes, most lack vehicle emissions standards or programs and incentives to promote zero emission vehicles.

"Electric motorcycles not only mitigate against this health hazard but also help reduce noise pollution that the rampant increase of petroleum powered motorbikes currently causes in our cities," said Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, Governor of Kisumu County.

UNEP's Electric Mobility Program promotes the transition of low-income countries to zero emission vehicles, in line with the UN Environment Assembly's Air Quality Resolution and the Paris Agreement.

More Denmark News

Access More

Sign up for Denmark News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!