In July 2020, Kenneth Guantai and Bradley Mbagaya hit the news with their electric TukTuk and mkokoteni innovation. The project, which was incubated by the National Youth Service (NYS) Engineering Institute, shot to the limelight after it was unveiled by the Minister of ICT, Joe Mucheru.
At that time, the duo seems to have gotten little attention as the world was busy fighting the Coronavirus pandemic. However, attention to this innovation has been spurred up once again after someone reshared their video clip on social media. In this article, we shall highlight all that you need to know about the electric TukTuk and the Electric mkokoteni.
From the outside, you would be forgiven to think that it’s your standard three-wheeler vehicle that rattles with instability, squeezing between cars on the roads. However, on closer look, you will notice the silence in its movements and sturdily built body that sets it apart from other TukTuks on the road.
The electric TukTuk has a wider, longer body than usual, allowing it to carry up to six passengers (including the driver) and up to 1.5 Tonnes in cargo weight. The range of the TukTuk is said to be between 300KMs and 500KMs on a single charge and this is thanks to the regenerative technology the innovators employed that charges the batteries while in motion and while braking.
Without this technology, Bradley Mbagaya explains, that the TukTuk would only be able to cover 90KMs. While there’s no information on whether the TukTuk is already being used in public, NYS says that the price of one is around KES 500,00.
Moving to the more exciting innovation, the electric mkokoteni is a far much better improvement over the standard ones we see around. The design seems narrower, but thanks to the electric motors, it can carry heavier loads and go further, much faster without tiring out the operator.
This new innovation comes with additional features that you would not find in your regular mkokoteni, including; an ignition key for security, a dashboard that shows battery level, headlights and brake lights. The hand cart is driven through a throttle (like on a motorbike) and also includes a standard brake and an emergency hand brake.
No pricing details on the hand cart are available.
This innovation by Kenneth Guantai isn’t the first to be worked on in the country, however, it is the first to be launched within. In December 2020, Sokowatch, a Kenyan startup, launched commercial electric TukTuks in Uganda, with the hope of expanding to Rwanda then Kenya and Tanzania.
While their reason for launching abroad first remains unknown, we hope that Kenneth will successfully deploy his electric TukTuk and mkokoteni in the market.