Ecotran: Kenyan Student Builds Africa’s First Solar Powered Motorbikes


African tech-entrepreneurs are sure thinking out of the box. Kenyan students present the Tech-world and Africa at large with eco-friendly motorbikes that will employ renewable energy which clearly is the way forward in African energy supply.

It’s not rocket science that the continent needs to embrace renewable energy, and as a matter of fact is gradually growing in the world of tech-entrepreneurship. Most businesses are making room for technology.

In 2013, 3 Kenyan students – Robert Achoge, Charles Ogingo and James Ogola founded Pfoofy, a tech-company. The trio have showcased their talents and innovations in several competitions, then later enrolled into climate change innovation centre at Strathmore University to perfect their skills.

See Also: Uganda Manufactures Africa’s First Solar-Powered Bus

President Obama & Charles Ogingo

On becoming the winners of a $100,000 grant from a tech-exhibition organized by the United States African Development Fund and Power Africa Initiative, they were able to sponsor the innovation to a commendable level – producing as much as 40 solar-powered motorbikes. Prior to that they have supported the business from their savings and solicited funds from relatives. They featured their invention during the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 2015 which had the President of the United States, Barack Obama in attendance. At the moment ecotran has caught the interest of foreign investors.


As a requisite for the motorbikes which uses portable rechargeable batteries, the founders have also established fueling stations with 40 solar photo-voltaic units, and each generating 250 watts of electricity. The batteries when fully charged goes as far as 40 miles.

Renewable energy as Robert puts it “is the next big thing”. And since solar energy is a promising alternative for poorly powered zones, Pfoofy firm stepped in to provide a clean energy source; so affordable that with less than a dollar, one can access the energy source.

See Also: Africa’s First Solar And Kinetic-Powered Pitch Unveiled In Lagos

Robert Achoge

Pfoofy was founded as a way of giving life to their innovations, some of which have not been actualized due to financial constraint. In his interview he said this:

“We used to work on solar-powered lamps, now we are working on solar-powered motorcycles. Once we finish on this we will work on a solar-powered irrigation kit. We focus on innovation surrounding renewable energy.”

They started out with solar lamps; coincidentally in the course of marketing their solar lamps, the team discovered yet another problem – transportation. Researching into the problem, they came across the Chinese electric motorbike prototype, but since the target location (rural area) battles with reliable electricity supply, they decided to alternate with solar energy; thus the name- “Eco-Tran”

See Also: African Self-Trained Tech-Inventors On The Rise- Boosting The Manufacturing Sector

For as long as technological developments matters, power supply is a necessity; technology has grown so formidable that it first demands power supply. All progressing nations of the world will attest that an efficiently boosted energy sector is the key to growing their economies and improving the living conditions of her people. The ingenious innovation of this trio shows Africa is not exactly lagging behind.

Image(s): Techpoint