Benin à bicyclette (Benin by bike)
Introducing electrical bikes for small distances in Parakou as a replacement for the highly polluting motorcycles
In Benin, and specifically in Parakou, transportation of people is done by polluting motorcycles. These motorcycles are often filled with gasoline with bad substances. Therefore, it’s really bad for the environment and life durance of motorcycles, which creates a situation where the cities are heavily polluted and congested. The use of bikes is very rare and people don’t really consider it a way of transportation.
Our main approach on how we are going to tackle these issues is by creating a startup that produces and sells electric bikes, adapted to the Beninese culture in a way that they are a suitable alternative to their local motorbikes. This means that they need to go quite fast and can’t be too expensive for example. This project is in collaboration with African Drive, the charity department of Materialise, which already successfully introduced and started a bus service in Benin, called Baobab Express. Baobab Energy is now being created, a company that would have as its main goal to produce reliable batteries, that can be used for several applications, such as electrical bikes. The ultimate goal is to decrease the use of polluting motorcycles and replace them by broadly used electrical bikes. Our main challenges will be that the bikes need to be as good as the motorcycles in terms of practical use and price.
Steven De Bruyn
Joachim De Bie
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