Watu Credit Inks Deal With Spiro To Boost E-Mobility In Kenya

Editorial Desk
By Editorial Desk 5 Min Read

Asset financing company Watu Credit (Watu) has announced a partnership with Spiro, sustainable urban mobility solutions provider to offer affordable financing for electric motorbikes in Kenya. 

Spiro, a leading electric two-wheeler manufacturer in Africa with a presence in Kenya, Benin, Togo, Rwanda, and Uganda, has established its headquarters in Mombasa.

During the announcement, Erick Massawe, Watu’s Kenya Country Manager said that through the partnership, they will leverage their dealership network to make Spiro electric bikes accessible to customers through affordable financing, beginning in Mombasa.

“We plan to further expand across a network of over 300 dealers countrywide, thereby expanding the EV market in Kenya.”

Mr. Kshitij Sharma, Managing Director of Spiro Kenya, stated that their motorbikes have been exceptionally well received in Mombasa, surpassing expectations.

“Our bikes are popular not only due to the alternative solution we offer amidst rising fuel prices, but also due to the extensive research and development efforts we have undertaken to ensure their relevance to the African market. The bikes are environmentally friendly and require minimal maintenance, making them very popular with riders aiming to minimize the costs of running their two-wheeled vehicles.”

The firm has established a network of automated battery swap stations in Mombasa and is in the process of doing the same in Nairobi to meet the anticipated demand for affordable electric bikes.

The initial cash retail price of the Spiro EV motorcycle will be Kshs 195,000, with an additional cost of Ksh 196,700 for customers requiring Watu to manage logbook transfers for ownership.

For those purchasing on credit, a Kshs 20,000 down payment is required, with daily payments starting from Ksh 455, and the final cost of the asset being determined by the loan payment timeframe.

Mr. Sharma added, “Our partnership with Watu will ensure that we enable riders to access the motorbikes at an affordable rate, thus contributing to supporting the government’s goal of transforming the transport sector with clean and affordable mobility. Partnering with them ensures that all riders can pay a daily fee similar to the cost of financing a petrol motorbike.”

The partnership with Watu will ensure that potential buyers of Spiro electric bikes have quick access to a flexible financing solution, making owning an electric motorbike more accessible. This approach addresses the financial barriers that may otherwise hinder riders from embracing the benefits of electric mobility.

Mr. Sharma emphasized that the agreement represents another step towards their goal of enabling universal access to affordable and clean transportation.

“The benefits of electric bikes are numerous, and we aim to make them affordable for people to own. They have far less maintenance and operational costs compared to fuel-powered versions, making them more economical. Additionally, our bikes are designed and made to cater to the specific needs of our customers, and we will also manage the set-up of charging infrastructure to address range anxiety,” he added.

Mr. Massawe expressed confidence in the partnership, stating, “We believe the future of the mobility industry is electric. Through our collaboration with Spiro, we will play a role in making electric motorbikes more accessible to riders in Kenya and eventually in Africa, thereby improving access and affordability.”

Electric vehicles, due to their zero carbon emissions, represent a more sustainable and environmentally friendly form of transportation. According to the National Climate Change Action Plan 2018–2022, the transport sector’s share of the nation’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2015 was about 13 percent.

Due to consistent sector growth, this percentage is expected to rise to 17 percent by 2030. To meet Kenya’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target of reducing GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 32% by 2030, the adoption of electric vehicles by the sector has been encouraged.

Last year, Kenya launched an initiative to accelerate e-mobility adoption, aiming to empower youth, lower the cost of operation for the boda boda sector, and position the country as a front-runner on the e-mobility journey.

Last year, Spiro announced its intention to establish an electric motorcycle manufacturing and assembly plant at the Dogo Kundu Special Economic Zone in Mombasa, once operational. The plant will have the capacity to manufacture more than 1,000 motorcycles a day for distribution and sale across the African continent.

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