By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus - Sokowatch, a Kenya-based African start-up, has introduced the first batch of electric tuk-tuks in Uganda. The tuk-tuks are also the first of their kind in East Africa.
According to the online supplier of goods, the electric tuk-tuks are expected to decrease maintenance costs by more than 50%.
The tuk-tuks which take merely 3 hours to charge overnight are said to last for 2-3 days in operation whore built by Gayam Motor Works. It is an Indian company whose client base includes Amazon and IKEA.
"We truly do believe that electric vehicles are the future of mobility ... specifically in Africa, especially when it comes to powering commerce or retail across the continent," said Daniel Yu, Sokowatch's Chief Executive.
The company also aims to improve the quality of air in the region through adopting such vehicles.
“In Kampala, air quality is 6x worse than global standards and as a company built around improving the livelihoods of local communities, we took the direct approach to address the issue. We launched in Kampala last year and when we arrived, we made a commitment to be a business that would add and not take away from our local communities and the launch of our electric tuk-tuks shows this wasn’t just lip-service,” said Peter Muzoora, Sokowatch's Country Manager.
He added that “Every day, we witness the impact of carbon emissions and noise pollution on this city, which is why this project is so important and also why we’re proud to be a company leading active change in Kampala.”
Besides, the tuk-tuks distribute to an estimated 35 shops per day within 2 hours of orders being placed and are capable of carrying 500kg in goods for the vendors.