According to President Museveni, the government and investors have reached an agreement under which all motorbike riders, including those who use boda bodas, will receive free electric motorcycles.
“We have agreed with some investors, to take away the petrol ones and give the owners the electric ones. This swap will save motorcycle operators 50% of the cost,” Museveni said while delivering his end of year address from his country home in Rwakitura.
The president said that by receiving a license and being permitted to run charging stations for motorcycle electric batteries, the investors will be able to repay their investment.
According to Dr. Monica Musenero, Minister of Science and Technology, attempts to spread the usage of electric boda bodas in the nation have already begun.
Musenero pointed out that the government has cooperated with private firms that currently offer electric motorcycles in the form of boda bodas, such as Bodawerk International Limited and Zembo.
She clarified that the businesses selling the bikes had a two-year installment payment plan to make it simple to access.
“These bikes are 60% cheaper to operate than the current ones because they don’t take fuel. Charging the motorbike takes a very small fraction. They don’t have a lot of serviceable parts and operator gets a lot more money. Because they are made here, we are taking care of safety measures and local circumstances. For example if it is stolen, it will report to us and we will be able to switch it off. If you try to remove parts, it will report. This will enhance security of the motorcycle,” Musenero said.
She mentioned the motorcycles’ ugx5 million price tag per unit. According to Minister Musenero, the government is collaborating with private businesses to erect electric charging stations across the nation.
“Three have already been set up along Masaka road Buwama, Lukaya and Masaka city. The most expensive component of the electric motorcycle is the battery and to this, the rider doesn’t have to own the battery. They will be leasing the batteries. When running low, the rider will go to the next charging station to change it and pay some money to get another one and leave the one which is low at the station.”
She mentioned that the battery may last up to 70 miles. Speaking on Saturday, President Museveni stated that one of the steps being taken to protect the environment is to convert the whole transportation system from gasoline-powered to electric.
“We are working on plans to shift to electric buses, electric cars and electric piki pikis(motorcycles). The shift in transport vehicles is not only in respect of piki pikis. It also involves the buses, cars, mini-buses, pick-ups, etc., manufactured by Kiira Motors and METU Katabaazi and others,”he said.