According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, more than 190,000 new motorcycles and three-wheeled vehicles were registered in 2017, compared to approximately 66,000 cars. This trend has continued into 2018, with 108,000 motorcycles and three-wheelers registered since January against just 38,000 cars.
What’s worrying is the fact that these motorcycles — which are increasing in demand thanks to a growing young population in search of employment — produce more carbon emissions than cars.
A baseline survey on electric mobility in Kenya conducted by the University of Nairobi reveals a steep rise in cumulative emissions from two and three-wheeled vehicles between 2005 and 2017.
Clean energy technology for motorcycles is simply not developing at the same rate as cars.
“Cars are getting more efficient because of vehicle emission technologies, while motorcycles are not,” David Rubia, an air quality and mobility program officer at the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment), told DW. “One motorcycle can have up to 300 times more hydrocarbon emissions, and 10 to 50 times more for particulate matter [compared to] an average petrol car.”