UK Uganda Collaboration Agreement on eMobility

1st December 2023 – London and Kampala

ion Ventures Ltd (“ion”) is pleased to announce an innovation collaboration with Zembo, Uganda's E-mobility Solutions Company.

ion and Zembo have successfully been awarded an Innovate UK grant to develop an automatic battery swapping technology for scaling e-mobility in Uganda. The project will receive support from the Energy Catalyst mechanism, designed to help address clean energy access in Uganda, and further the technological advancement of e-mobility in the region. This is ion’s second awarded project under the Innovate UK Energy Catalyst scheme, following its important minigrid work in South Africa.

Motorcycle taxis, known in East Africa as boda-bodas, are the most popular form of transportation in Uganda, as they are fast and easily accessible. About 70% of the population uses them on a regular basis. They are currently up to 200,000 boda-bodas in Kampala, a number expected to nearly triple by 2050. Zembo is introducing electric motorcycles in Uganda using the innovations from the established Solar PayGo model in the urban mobility sector to provide affordable electric motorcycles to self-employed drivers.

Their battery-as-a-service model allows riders to swap their batteries anytime at given battery swap stations and reduce the cost of their motorcycle. Supported by ion, Zembo is developing a network of automatic battery swap stations where swaps can be done faster to increase swap efficiency for the drivers. This project will be the first in Uganda to install digital swap stations, accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, whilst mitigating air pollution and CO2 emissions.

ion Director, Dan Taylor, commented “ion are very excited to work with Zembo on this important project in Uganda, and to support this innovation as a part of ion Ventures’ global reach in the growing EV infrastructure market”.

Energy Catalyst, an Innovate UK programme, continues to offer a great opportunity for us to build partnerships and reach communities in need of clean and affordable energy solutions. We're excited that through this project, we'll be able to build and extend our technology platform and expertise, improving our operations and scaling this fast-growing and critical sector."

For any further information please contact [email protected]