A Kenyan solar-powered bicycle reducing transport emissions

by Sophie Mbugua

Between January to September 2019, records from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics show that Kenya registered about 160 000 motorcycles and nearly 6000 three-wheelers.

A worrying trend because these motorcycles are highly increasing in demand thanks to a growing young population searching for employment produces more carbon emissions than cars.

David Rubia, an air quality and mobility Programme officer at the UN Environment One motorcycle, can have 30 to 40 times more hydrocarbon emissions than an average car.

Today’s average motorcycle still has a carburettor instead of an electronic fuel injection found on an average car. It means this affects how a vehicle consumes fuel and hence the emissions it is responsible for.

Nairobi is known for its traffic snarl-ups. People spend many hours sitting in traffic in the cities.

According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, the transport sector accounts for at least 22percent of all global related carbon dioxide emissions. In Africa, it accounts for 40 percent of these emissions.

I met up with Ignatius Maranga, a renewable energy engineer and researcher at the Strathmore energy research center. He tells us of a solar-powered three-wheeler bicycle developed by the Strathmore energy research center in Nairobi trying to solve the congestion problem and reduce emission while providing power to those using it.

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2 comments

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Sifu September 2, 2020 - 4:15 am

What contributes more… Vehicles or bush fires!

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Sophie Mbugua
Sophie Mbugua September 2, 2020 - 1:35 pm

In Africa, the transport system contributes more compared to bush fires. Might not be the same case in Australia and the Amazon when the bushfires happen.

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