Early evidence from Mobile Power promises transformative change in e-mobility in Sierra Leone

Mobile Power operates a network of solar-powered battery-charging stations called ‘MOPO Hubs’ across Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, The Gambia and Liberia. Its battery rental system is both affordable and flexible. For Customers, renting a MOPO50 Battery creates a significant saving compared to charging phones on generators, requires no deposit, credit check or fixed payment structure. To date, Mobile Power has provided power to over 100,000 people.

With support from PREO, Mobile Power is now launching Battery swap stations for electric motorbikes in Sierra Leone. The e-motorbikes are rented on a daily basis to drivers of motorcycle taxis known locally as okadas, with MOPO Batteries charged via solar mini-grids. This model deploys the new 1kWh MOPOMax Battery which has been designed to facilitate both productive use and e-mobility solutions. The MOPOMaxBattery will also be incorporated and charged through Mobile Power’s country-wide network of MOPO Hubs.

The PREO project targets were straightforward: to assess the product-market fit for the e-motorbikes and battery swap system and thereafter to demonstrate that this clean energy powered e-mobility solution can be a viable generator of profit for the rider, the solar mini-grids partners and for Mobile Power itself.

Early evidence obtained from testing the prototype was encouraging: the e-motorbike operated as part of the pilot has covered thousands of miles on rural and urban roads and it has proved popular with riders and customers alike; given the high prices of fuel, the unit economics for the rider were vastly improved when compared to petrol motorbikes; the data shows that the e-motorbikes can improve the daily profits of the okada drivers by more than 100% to at least GBP 3 per day. Mobile Power has plans to scale its battery swap for e-mobility footprint in 2022.

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