New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister inaugurates Ampersand E-Motorbike Battery Swap Station in Kigali, Rwanda
On her recent visit to Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Hon. Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, officially inaugurated the 13th battery swap station for Ampersand, a Kigali-based energyand electric motorbike company. The Minister was welcomed by the Ampersand team led by Josh Whale, CEO and Founder - a citizen of New Zealand who moved to Rwanda to put Africa's first electric motorbikes on the road.
Located in Kigali’s CBD, the station was funded by the New Zealand Government through the New Zealand Aid Programme and is one of ten stations across the city which power more than 370 e-motorbikes, and the first of a next-generation design. The battery swap stations enable drivers to replace their depleted batteries in under two minutes. This means drivers can spend more time on the road and earn more money.
Speaking at the inauguration, Ampersand CEO Josh Whale thanked the government and community of New Zealand for supporting Ampersand to electrify Africa’s mobility industry.
“We are very grateful to the New Zealand Government for their trust in our vision and commitment. Ampersand believes in a future where motorbike transport is cleaner, safer, and more affordable. Every new bike, and every new station added to our growing network is a stepping stone on our journey to success. It's fantastic that New Zealand sees the potential of Ampersand to create a low-carbon future in Africa,” said Josh.
On behalf of the New Zealand Government, Minister Nanaia Mahuta said that she is proud of the work Ampersand is doing and highlighted that the company’s solution reduces the reliance on fossil fuels, which is good for the environment and creates employment opportunities. The Foreign Affairs Minister commended the impact Ampersand is having in achieving a green and sustainable future, and wished the team all the best for future ventures.
Ampersand has built 10 battery swap stations in Kigali and three in Nairobi, Kenya. These stations perform close to 37,000 battery swaps a month, providing energy that already powers its customers over four times the length of Africa every day. Ampersand has already created hundreds of green jobs for young people.
The swap station features a mural that depicts what Ampersand does, celebrates New Zealand’s Māori culture and picturesque landscapes, as well as some of Rwanda’s tourist attractions. The mural was painted by Masha, a Rwanda based street artist.
Ampersand is Africa’s first and leading integrated electric motorcycle and transport energy solution. Headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda, Ampersand builds battery packs and affordable electric motorcycles that perform better than East Africa’s five million petrol taxi motorbikes, whilst costing less from day one.
The core of Ampersand’s business is the network of battery swap stations and fleet of unique batteries Ampersand builds and operates, managed by an app and software backend.
Since its commercial launch in 2019, Ampersand’s electric motorbikes have covered over five million kilometres, increased the daily income for moto drivers by 41%, and the company now employs 180 staff in Rwanda, Kenya, and Germany. Each Ampersand’s e-motorbike avoids up to 2.5 tons of carbon emissions annually. Learn more atampersand.solar.