SENEGALESE-BASED startup Mbay Mobility is embarking on an ambitious 10-year plan to deploy 33,000 electric taxis across major West African cities, including Accra in Ghana, Dakar in Senegal, and Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire. The initiative follows a successful pilot phase in Senegal in 2022, where ten electric vehicles were tested, demonstrating the feasibility and effectiveness of the electric taxi model.
To materialise this plan, Mbay Mobility is actively seeking financial support to purchase and import the intended fleet of electric vehicles. The primary objective behind this initiative is to address the pressing issues of carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution in West African cities, particularly in the taxi industry.
Mbay Mobility’s business model hinges on providing bank loans and digital services to taxi operators, leveraging increased competition in the electric vehicle market, notably in Ghana, where approximately 17,000 electric vehicle fleets were operational as of November 2023.
The significance of this initiative lies in West Africa’s lag in adopting electric mobility compared to East Africa. Mbay Mobility aims to revolutionise intercity travel by replacing combustion-powered vehicles with low-pollution electric taxis. Beyond environmental concerns, the company envisions empowering drivers, enhancing the traveller experience, and catalysing positive change in local communities.
Matthew Sellar, the CEO of Mbay Mobility, emphasised the impact of Dakar’s taxi industry on air pollution despite its relatively small size. He highlighted findings from their testing phase, indicating widespread use of electric cars and substantial cost savings, further underscoring the potential benefits of transitioning to electric taxis in West African cities.