Malawi Embraces E-Mobility with 50,000 Electric Motorbikes Rollout

E-Mobility Surge Promises Green Transport Revolution in Malawi

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe
Malawi Electric Motorbikes

Malawi is gearing up for an electric revolution in its transportation sector, with plans to introduce 50,000 electric motorbikes, signaling a significant shift towards e-mobility. Finance Minister Simplex Chithyola Banda, in his 2024/2025 Budget Speech, highlighted the government’s commitment to encouraging investment in the nation’s emerging e-mobility sector by announcing the removal of import duty and import excise tax on electric motorcycles. This move is aimed at fostering a more sustainable transportation ecosystem, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and mitigating environmental impacts.

According to ESI Africa, this initiative is part of a broader effort by the Malawian government to embrace electric vehicles (EVs) and infrastructure. Last fiscal year, the government eliminated import duties and taxes on EVs and materials for constructing EV charging stations, laying the groundwork for a cleaner, more sustainable transportation future. President Lazarus Chakwera further cemented this direction in his State of the Nation Address, revealing a government-sponsored pilot phase for electric cars, supported by World Bank-funded charging points across Malawi.

The announcement of importing 50,000 electric motorbikes is expected to transform the local public transport sector, currently dominated by motorcycle taxis known locally as “kabaza.” This initiative is poised to introduce a new era of clean, efficient, and sustainable mobility solutions for Malawians, aligning with global trends towards decarbonization and clean energy utilization.

The World Bank has been instrumental in this shift, seeking a consultancy firm to explore the creation of an e-mobility ecosystem in Malawi. The country’s unique challenges and opportunities, including fuel shortages, the need for transport sector decarbonization, and an abundance of renewable energy potential, make the case for EVs compelling. Malawi’s commitment to clean energy and supportive policies, such as import duty waivers for EVs and charging infrastructure, positions it as a burgeoning hub for e-mobility investment and innovation.

Amidst these developments, Sky Energy Africa, a Malawian renewable energy start-up, is making headlines as the country’s first EV dealership. Founded by 33-year-old entrepreneur Schizzo Thomson, the company is on the brink of selling Malawi’s first electric vehicle. Sky Energy Africa has already partnered with Total to install chargers at fuel stations and strategic locations, further facilitating the transition to electric transportation.

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