Genius Physics Teacher Starts Kenyan E-Bike Business Powered by Old Laptop Batteries
A Kenyan high school teacher is using your old laptop batteries to turn petrol-powered bikes into electric ones.
There’s no shortage of MacGyver-like innovations in Africa, and Paul Waweru is a perfect example of that ingenuity, turning second-hand electronics destined to become waste products into something useful.
The batteries can cost as little as 0.50 Kenyan shillings, which Waweru then cannibalizes for the cells that still can hold a decent charge. Once he has enough, he configures them into battery packs to replace the internal combustion engines of existing scooters and bikes.
“Nobody was selling electric bikes in Kenya, so I had to import one,” he told African News.
The imported bike didn’t last long, so he used his own innovation to create the product his society needed. African News reports he founded a company called Ecomobilus which is already selling well, especially to couriers who love that they can avoid the high costs of gasoline.
“Ecomobilus bikes are more advantageous compared to other gasoline-powered bikes. Number one, because of the cost of maintenance,” Waweru explains. “Ecomobilus bikes require zero maintenance because there are no mechanical parts that need to be repaired every often [sic], we give it at least two years for services because the engines are no longer there, we are dealing with motors.”
MORE SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS: Honda to Introduce 10 New Electric Motorcycles and Scooters to Ease Air Pollution in Asia’s Megacities
A full charge on the laptop battery pack is around 60 miles, (100 kilometers), and it can fully charge in 45 minutes for less than half the cost of a full tank of fuel.
Many African cities are choked with air pollution, especially during the dry seasons, and some are seeing electric bikes as the perfect solution to quickly and effectively improve on this vital issue.
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