Uganda startup launches first commercial electric tuk-tuks in East Africa 

Sokowatch, an Uganda-based eCommerce platform has launched the first commercially used electric tuk-tuks in East Africa. 

The new tuk-tuks will be used towards its existing delivery fleet and have been build and assembled by a team led by Sokowatch’s head mechanic and engineer. 

Sokowatch has added electric tuk-tuks to its existing delivery fleet

The eco-friendly addition to its delivery system is a step towards the startup’s commitment to sustainability to combat emissions and noise pollution in its operating markets. 

Peter Muzoora, Country Manager for Uganda Sokowatch explains how the electric tuk-tuks will positively contribute to the environment in Kampala. 

“In Kampala, air quality is 6x worse than global standards and as a company built around improving the livelihoods of local communities, we took the direct approach to address the issue. We launched in Kampala last year and when we arrived, we made a commitment to be a business that would add and not take away from our local communities and the launch of our electric tuk-tuks shows this wasn’t just lip-service. Every day, we witness the impact of carbon emissions and noise pollution on this city, which is why this project is so important and also why we’re proud to be a company leading active change in Kampala.”

The electric tuk-tuks 

The new innovative electric tuk-tuks have been built by India-based EV manufacturer,  Gayam Motor Works. The tuk-tuks take a reported three hours to charge, with the battery operating at full capacity for two to three days. 

Carrying a maximum weight of 500kg in goods, the electric tuk-tuks are able to deliver to an estimated 35 shops per day within two hours of orders being placed. 

Sokowatch electric tuk-tuks (Supplied)

Sokowatch 

Founded in 2013, the eCommerce startup utilises tech-enabled solutions to improve supply chain inefficiencies for informal retailers. 

According to Sokowatch, in African cities, over 10-million informal retailers are selling over $180-billion worth of goods each year. Informal retailers are a major contributor toward local economics, Sokowatch functions to provide a much-needed service that allows these retailers to maintain their stock levels, improve their access to financial services and business management tools. 

Through Sokowatch, informal retailers are able to order products at any time via SMS or its innovative mobile app, receiving same-day delivery. In addition, the eCommerce platform uses historic purchasing data to evaluate retailers and provide them with access to credit and a range of other financial services. 

Read more: Kenya’s Sokowatch expands to Uganda, Rwanda after $2.5m seed round
Read more: Uganda MSMEs receive $500 000 grant

Featured image: Sokowatch electric tuk-tuks (Supplied) 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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