Jumia, the leading e-commerce platform in Africa, has entered a partnership with California-based EV solutions provider BILITI Electric to electrify its delivery fleet in Kenya, in what is described as an essential step toward Africa’s progress in the e-mobility industry to achieve its environmental sustainability goals.
The two companies were said to have successfully completed the pilot project, and are set to scale the fleet within Kenya in the first phase, and eventually across Africa.
An environmental solution
Commenting on the development, Jumia Kenya CEO, Juan Seco said that “Leveraging technology to improve everyday lives in Africa,” is the first pillar of the company’s sustainability strategy.
“We are committed to building a supply chain that will minimize the environmental impact of our operations. The introduction of these e-Vans (Tuk-Tuk) to our delivery fleet is an integral milestone in our journey towards realizing our ESG objectives,” he said.
Rahul Gayam, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of BILITI Electric, disclosed that last mile delivery costs account for 53% of the total cost of shipping, noting that electric vehicles (EVs) help to save on high costs compared to any internal combustion engine vehicle.
He added: “We are confident that we will be able to help JUMIA to offer faster, clean, cheaper, and more convenient last-mile deliveries.”
BILITI Electric e-vans
BILITI Electric’s TaskmanTM variant is designed for commercial last-mile deliveries. It offers a range of 100 km per charge, a payload of 500 kg, and a top speed of 50 Kilometres Per Hour (KMPH).
BILITI’s SmartSwappTM technology enables the rider to simply swap the vehicle battery and get recharged in less than a minute.
According to the company, these e-vans offer African communities cleaner air and economic opportunity. An additional benefit is that delivery agents can earn more money by switching from fossil-fuel motorcycles to these e-vans, allowing them to deliver more orders more quickly and efficiently.
In April, BILITI Electric announced that it was setting up the world’s largest electric vehicle three-wheeler factory in India.
A win for the EV revolution
The EV revolution is steadily growing in Africa, a continent that accounts for 3% of global greenhouse emissions and grapples with the environmental implications of fossil fuel-based vehicles.
Since the unveiling of Joule, Africa’s first locally manufactured EV by Cape Town-based company, Optimal Energy in 2008, several other startups from countries across the continent have joined the EV train, marking the beginning of a newfound acceptance for such vehicles.
The introduction of e-vans in Kenya, a country targeting 100% clean energy use by 2030, is no doubt a step in the right direction and offers fresh hopes for the growth of cleaner energy and safe transport in Africa.
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