GES: Kenyan firm that makes solar-powered bikes
A Kenyan company has come up with a solar-charged electric motorbike, an engineering revolution that could significantly change transportation.
Pfoofy Power & Light Limited has also set up one solar-charging station to address the demand for motorbike transport, famously known as bodaboda, in South Nyakach-Kisumu County.
In what resembles the US techpreneur Elon Musk's electric car maker Tesla Motors, the local firm has eyes set on revolutionising transport by cutting over-reliance on fuel fossils.
Charles Ogingo, one of the co-founders of Pfoofy said plans are underway to install two ten-kilowatt charging stations, which will be used to charge 40 motorcycles.
“Electricity is not available to everyone. Therefore, solar energy is viable in Kenya. These solar-powered bikes can ride for 60 kilometers before switching to reserve fuel and their next recharge. Therefore, they can get fully charged batteries from the stations at only Sh200.”
Unlike Tesla Motors whose charging systems rely on electricity from the grid, Pfoofy Power is tapping solar energy to drive the revolution. The innovation has the potential to transform rural transport in ways never seen before.
The University of Nairobi Mechanical Engineering Graduate says a bodaboda is rented out for Sh300 per day and they have already trained nearly 40 motorbikes drivers.
“I have seen the daily challenges that farmers face in bringing their produce to market. This cheaper, safer and more sustainable bodaboda is changing how people conduct business,” he added.
He spoke Sunday during the just concluded 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi. The convening offered an avenue for Kenya’s innovation to be put on global display.
Other exhibitors included Mibawa Suppliers Limited who also have a weekly or monthly rechargeable household solar system using a scratch card similar to the airtime credit cards. Another was M-Kopa.
These are some of the projects that won last years Power Africa off-grid Energy Challenge grant to expand their businesses by President Obama’s project called Power Africa. They each got about Sh10 million.
Power Africa is an initiative that seeks to increase access to reliable, affordable, cleaner and more sustainable power in Sub-Saharan Africa. The first phase has been concluded and plans are underway for the next.
The Project’s Regional Program Director Tom Coogan said Sunday: “The funding allows these entrepreneurs to make better their ideas which were hindered due to lack of funds. Watch out for great products from these great Kenyans.”
Therefore, President Obama endorsement of the country’s cutting-edge products such M-Pesa, Ushahidi did not come as a surprise to many during the opening of the Summit on Saturday, July 24.
He said: “Here in Nairobi, startup incubators are nurturing new businesses every day, each with the potential to be the next great Kenyan innovation.”