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Startup revolutionizes electric transportation with innovative battery swap business model: ‘Proud to be leading the charge’

“It’s a very simple swap-and-ride process taking under two minutes.”

"It's a very simple swap-and-ride process taking under two minutes."

Photo Credit: ARC Ride

A common concern when it comes to buying an electric vehicle is charging, with a lack of suitable local infrastructure among the reasons to put off a purchase. 

Charging at home can be an issue for some, too. One homeowners association tried to prevent the installation of a domestic station, while those who live in apartments can find it tricky to recharge vehicles in their area. 

A company in Nairobi, Kenya, however, has come up with a new business model that provides pre-charged batteries for its electric motorbikes. 

ARC Ride’s new two-wheeler, the Corbett, has a 37.3-mile range (60 kilometers) and a top speed of 37.3 miles per hour. 

The key feature is the ability to swap the bike’s batteries at designated stations. According to CleanTechnica, vehicle owners can take their 1.44-kilowatt-hour lithium iron phosphate battery to one of 40 swap stations in Nairobi (and counting), where they can drop off the empty power pack and pick up a fully charged one in just two minutes.

The batteries will likely be charged via solar power, too, with swap stations featuring 405 watts of photovoltaic panels, per CleanTechnica. The production of clean power for the batteries and the lack of planet-warming tailpipe pollution produced while out on the road are win-win for the environment and Corbett riders.

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CleanTechnica said users can make the most of unlimited battery swaps for as little as $2.54 a day, while single swaps are about $1.34 each. Meanwhile, the Corbett, which is available in a range of colors, can be bought for about $1,300 or can be obtained via a lease agreement.

“We are proud to be leading the charge to enable the mass adoption of electric two- and three-wheelers in rapidly growing cities like Nairobi,” ARC Ride said, per CleanTechnica. “We achieve this through an infrastructure first approach with our market leading self-service swapping stations.”

“Each rider has a battery paired to them via the ARC Ride user app,” ARC Ride continued. “It is then simply a case of scanning a QR code and swapping your battery. An empty door opens, you put your battery in and then a new fully charged battery is released to you. It’s a very simple swap-and-ride process taking under two minutes and saves you 40% per km vs petrol.”

ARC Ride is taking advantage of Kenya’s rising delivery sector and providing a transportation solution that is much better for the environment than conventional dirty-fuel-powered motorbikes.

Furthermore, charging with electricity is far cheaper than refueling with gasoline, especially if riders make the most of unlimited daily swaps.

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