Vaya Africa, a ride-hail mobility venture founded by Zimbabwean mogul Strive Masiyiwa, has launched an electric taxi service and charging network in Zimbabwe with plans to expand across the continent.
Vaya Africa, a company registered in Mauritius, responsible for the transport of people and goods in Africa and the generation of adjacent revenues in this sector, launched a new product on the Zimbabwean market. It is the electric vehicles called “Vaya Electric”. The South African headquarters of Vaya Africa has acquired a series of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles and has developed its own solar charging stations.
The programme aims to introduce on-demand electric taxi services and offer services in their markets. It is being launched in Zimbabwe as Vaya finalizes partnerships to launch electric taxi and on-demand delivery services in markets that could include Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia.
“These vehicles do not produce CO2 and do not generate air pollution when used. Our goal is to make all vehicles available on the Vaya platform electric within the next ten years,” says Dorothy Zimuto, CEO of Vaya Mobility.
The program goes live in Zimbabwe this week, as Vaya finalizes partnerships to begin on-demand electric taxi and delivery services in markets that could include Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia.
“Zimbabwe is a sandbox really. We’ve moved on to doing pilots with other countries right across Africa,” Vaya Mobility CEO Dorothy Zimuto told TechCrunch on a call from Harare.
The initiative comes as Africa’s on-demand mobility market has been in full swing for several years, with startups, investors and the larger ride-hail players aiming to bring movement of people and goods to digital product models.
Vaya Africa’s electric taxis will be recharged using solar energy and the charging stations deployed in Zimbabwe. These have been installed by Ugesi Energy, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless, to provide electric vehicle owners with recharging options in most parts of the country.
Vaya is a subsidiary of Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Group, which includes one of Southern Africa’s largest mobile operators and Liquid Telecom, an internet infrastructure company. Working with Zimuto on the Vaya EV product is Liquid Telecom’s innovation partnerships lead, Oswald Jumira.