Uber Plans To Go Greener; By Adding More EVs To Their Existing 350- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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App-based ride-hailing company Uber is in plans to increases the number of electric vehicles on its platform by the end of the year. At the moment, Uber has more than 350 electric vehicles and with plans of expansion, they want to reach 1,500 by the end of the year. 
Uber has tested out electric autos with Sun Mobility in Chandigarh where the batteries are swappable and stations can be interchanged to select Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). In Bengaluru, they have tied up with green mobility company Yulu for their cycle ride services. The company has also collaborated with Mahindra Group to bring EVs in Hyderabad. 
The focus on electric mobility is on a rise with companies such as TVS Motor Corp, Bajaj, Hero, Tata Motors and Mahindra moving to manufacture more electric vehicles. 
CEO of Uber India, Pradeep Parameswaran, said in a statement to a national daily that the OEM industry in India is evolved and robust and their strategy is to actively partner for charging infrastructure with OEMs financiers and technology service providers. 
The government has also subsidized electric vehicles with the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme which gives an advantage to businesses involved in electric mobility. 
Uber’s competitor Ola has also begun pilot operations of Ola Electric in Bengaluru, Gurugram, and Nagpur. 
Also, Read: Can Technology Boost Electric Vehicles’ Infrastructure In India?

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Bill Gates buys Porsche Taycan, reveals the biggest problem with EVs – Blog – 10 minute

A hot potato: Bill Gates spends a lot of his vast fortune on supporting good causes, including climate change and other eco-friendly initiatives, which probably explains why he’s just bought an electric car. But while he enjoys his Porsche Taycan, Gates believes there’s still one big problem that puts a lot of people off joining the EV revolution: their range.
Speaking to YouTube tech star Marques ‘MKBHD’ Brownlee, the world’s second-richest man said (around the 5:00 mark) that passenger cars are one of the more hopeful areas when it comes to helping address climate change. “Many car companies are moving super-fast when it comes to electric cars,” explained Gates.
The former Microsoft boss revealed that he recently purchased his first electric car: the Porsche Taycan. The high-end model, which one would imagine was Gates’ choice, starts at $186,350 and can easily pass $200,000 with the added extras—pocket change for a man with a $100 million fortune. The car can do 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds and has a range of between 241 and 279 miles. “It’s a premium price car, but it’s very, very cool. That’s my first electric car, and I’m enjoying it a lot.”

One of Gates’ many cars
While the price of electric cars can be a problem for many people looking to buy one of the vehicles, Gates says the other big issue is their range. “If you want to go long distance, the pervasiveness of recharging and the time to recharge compared to filling up a time of gas.”
Tesla is continuing to address the range question in its lineup of EVs. According to a recent tweet from CEO Elon Musk, the latest update to its model S has increased the estimated range to around 390 miles. The Model X, meanwhile, has seen its range go from 328 miles to 351. But while the ranges of EVs are getting better, the prices remain high compared to combustion-engine vehicles.

Tesla Model S estimated EPA range is now above 390 miles or ~630 km https://t.co/sNFzIkuJpC
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 15, 2020

It was recently reported that Gates had commissioned a $644 million hydrogen-powered superyacht, but the company behind the vessel denied it had any business relationship with him.
Are you put off buying an EV because of its range and/or price? Let us know in the comments below.

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Mazda says EVs with large battery packs are worse for the environment than diesel cars – Blog – 10 minute

A hot potato: It’s generally accepted that electric vehicles are better for the environment than their diesel alternatives, but Mazda argues that’s not always the case. The company says its MX-30 crossover comes with a 35.5kWh battery because it’s “responsibly” sized, meaning the pack’s overall CO2 emissions are comparable to a diesel Mazda 3 compact hatchback.
When Mazda unveiled the MX-30 crossover at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, it revealed the EV’s 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery. That gives it a range of about 200 km (124 miles)—substantially lower than EVs such as the Tesla Model S and its 100kWh battery, which allows a range of around 600km (373 miles). Even the similarly priced Hyundai Kona EV manages 289km (179 miles) on its 39kWh pack.
Speaking to Automotive News, Mazda’s European research director, Christian Schultze, said it chose the battery pack size for environmental reasons. He says its overall CO2 lifetime footprint, which includes manufacturing and energy consumption, is similar to a diesel Mazda compact, and that’s even when replacing the battery after 100,000 miles.
Mazda says using a 95kWh battery pack like the one found in the Tesla would mean much higher overall CO2 emissions due to its larger size and greater energy consumption. And the problem would be made worse when the pack needs replacing.
Mazda shared a graph to try and illustrate its point. It says the green line represents a 95kWh EV.

It’s worth noting that numerous studies show EVs produce less CO2 emissions over their lifetimes than diesel vehicles, and Mazda based its figures on European electricity generation averages from 2016. For some people, however, the claim of a more environmentally friendly EV could outweigh its low range.
In other Mazda news, the company last week issued a recall for 35,000 fourth-generation Mazda3 vehicles over their faulty emergency brake system.

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Goldman backs Kobo360, Rwanda commits to EVs, Interswitch IPO update – gpgmail


Nigerian freight logistics startup Kobo360 raised a $20 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs and $10 million in working capital financing from Nigerian commercial banks.

The company — with an Uber-like app that connects truckers and companies to delivery services — will use the funds to upgrade its platform and expand to 10 new countries beyond current operating markets of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya.

Kobo360 looks to grow beyond its Nigeria roots to become a truly Pan-African company, co-founder Obi Ozor told gpgmail .  He co-founded the venture in 2017 with fellow Nigerian Ife Oyedele II.

Since its launch in Lagos, the startup has continued to grow its product offerings, VC backing and customer base. Kobo360 claims a fleet of more than 10,000 drivers and trucks operating on its app. Top clients include Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, Dangote and DHL.

Kobo360’s latest round is also notable for Goldman Sachs’ involvement. Goldman’s participation tracks a growing list of African venture investments made by the U.S. based finance firm.

Chinese mobile-phone and device maker Transsion will list in an IPO on Shanghai’s STAR Market, Transsion confirmed to gpgmail.

The company — which has a robust Africa sales network — could raise up to 3 billion yuan (or $426 million).

Transsion’s IPO prospectus is downloadable (in Chinese) and its STAR Market listing application available on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s website.

STAR is the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s new Nasdaq-style board for tech stocks that also went live in July with some 25 companies going public.

Headquartered in Shenzhen — where African e-commerce unicorn Jumia also has a logistics supply-chain facility — Transsion is a top-seller of smartphones in Africa under its Tecno brand.

The company has a manufacturing facility in Ethiopia and recently expanded its presence in India.

Transsion plans to spend the bulk of its STAR Market raise (1.6 billion yuan or $227 million) on building more phone assembly hubs and around 430 million yuan ($62 million) on research and development, including a mobile phone R&D center in Shanghai, a company spokesperson said.

The government of Rwanda will soon issue national policy guidelines to eliminate gas motorcycles in its taxi sector in favor of e-motos, according to a preview of the plan by President Paul Kagame at a public-rally

The director general for the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority, Patrick Nyirishema, confirmed Kagame’s comments were ahead of a national e-mobility plan in the works for the East African nation.

“The president’s announcement is exactly the policy direction we’re in…it’s about converting to electric motos…The policy is prepared, it’s yet to be passed…and is going through the approval process,” Nyirishema told gpgmail on a call from Kigali.

Motorcycle taxis in Rwanda are a common mode of transit, with estimates of 20 to 30 thousand operating in the capital of Kigali.

Nyirishema explained that converting to e-motorcycles is part of a national strategy to move Rwanda’s entire mobility space to electric. The country will start with public transit operators, such as moto-taxis, and move to buses and automobiles.

Ampersand, a Kigali-based e-moto startup, has already begun to pilot EVs and charging systems in Rwanda and will work with the country’s government on the moto-taxi conversion.

In an ExtraCrunch feature, gpgmail delved into tech talent accelerator Andela — one of the most recognized and well funded startups operating in Africa.

In a byte, Andela is Series D stage startup ― backed by $180 million in VC ― that trains and connects African software developers to global companies for a fee.

CEO Jeremy Johnson dished on the company’s strategy toward profitability and responded to some of the criticism it receives ― namely a claim the startup is creating a second brain-drain when software developers leave Andela and Africa, to take positions with global companies.

Today Andela has offices in New York and five African countries: Nigeria, Kenya,  Rwanda, Uganda, and Egypt ― which largely align with the continent’s top tech VC markets.

Across this network the company recruits software developers, builds software engineers, and deploys teams of software engineers.

Johnson disclosed numbers on Andela’s expected new hires for the year, current developer staff, how many departures the company expects, and how many of those will likely leave their home countries―which actually amounts to a fairly small percentage.

gpgmail checked in with Nigerian fintech company Interswitch for the latest on its anticipated dual-listing London and Lagos stock exchanges.

A Bloomberg News story (based on background sourcing) revived speculation the IPO could happen this year for the company — which provides much of Nigeria’s digital banking infrastructure and has expanded its operations presence and payments products across Africa and globally.

Reports that Interswitch could be one of the earliest big tech companies out of Africa to go public trace back to 2016, when CEO and founder Mitchell Elegbe told gpgmail the company was considering a listing before the end of that year.

Last month, an Interswitch spokesperson would neither confirm or deny a pending IPO, per a gpgmail inquiry. So, it’s still tough to say if or when the company could list. But there are still several reasons why the business (and its possible IPO) are worth keeping an eye on, which we detailed in the update story.

 

One could be an eventual increase in venture funding to African startups, that could come from Interswitch. Another could be an Interswitch IPO adding another benchmark for global investors to gauge Africa’s tech sector beyond Jumia — the e-commerce company that became the first big tech firm operating in Africa to launch on a major exchange, the NYSE in April.

More Africa-related stories @gpgmail

African tech around the ‘net

 


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