Spiro, a company that designs vehicles and smart batteries, has partnered with the Ugandan government to deploy over 140,000 electric two-wheelers and 3,000 charge-and-swap stations across the country. The project, which will run till 2028, will contribute to Uganda’s vision to lead Africa in the adoption of electric mobility solutions.
The company, formerly known as M Auto, aims to replace Uganda’s emission-spewing motorbikes with cleaner alternatives. To do this, Spiro, with the backing of the government, will set up an electric motor assembly plant in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, in the hopes of fostering affordability through localised production. This plant will add about 9,000 jobs to Uganda’s economy.
Spiro’s latest announcement puts Uganda in the green energy spotlight. As part of a year-end national address, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, promised to hand over brand-new electric motorcycles to current commercial riders for free. Uganda’s partnership with Spiro fits into the country’s mission to electrify its city and preserve its declining air quality.
Spiro claims it has deployed over 4,500 electric motorcycles in Benin, Togo, and Rwanda since 2022, and is set to expand into ten other African countries by 2030.
In a press release sent to TechCabal, Shegun Adjadi Bakari, CEO of Spiro and partner at the African Fund for Transformation and Industrialization (ATIF), said: “In the coming weeks, we will launch our program to substitute conventional motorcycles with electric ones. Drivers in Uganda will be able to trade in their old motorcycles for one of our commercially available models at no cost. This is a groundbreaking move in Africa, and we have already implemented this scheme in Benin, Togo, and Rwanda, with a favorable market reaction. We are excited to bring the same approach to Uganda.”
“Our ability to deploy over 4,500 electric motorcycles in less than a year of operation is evidence of the fact that electric two-wheelers are the future of sustainable mobility in Africa,” Bakari added.
Motorcycles, locally referred to as boda boda, are widely used in Uganda for individual and commercial purposes. Reports show that there are over a million boda bodas across the country, with about 200,000 registered in Kampala, the capital city plagued by an air pollution crisis.
In a speech at the signing with Spiro, the Minister of Works and Transport, Edward Katumba Wamala, said, “Many countries are adopting policies on clean energy and Uganda cannot be left behind. The Introduction of e-bikes is one step towards the right direction of greening and improving air quality in the country.”
According to Spiro, its ability to deploy electric motorcycles has been facilitated by the backing of investors, including the African Fund for Transformation and Industrialization (ATIF), which has provided over $50 million in funding for the company.