Laptop Batteries the Key to Kenyan Electric Bike Business

Nairobi, Kenya

A Kenyan physics teacher has adapted old laptop batteries to continue powering his e-bike and has turned the innovation into a flourishing business.

Paul Waweru turned to laptop batteries when his e-bike stopped working and, unable to source a replacement, he was unable to travel to work.

“Nobody was selling electric bikes in Kenya, so I had to import one,” Paul says in an article in

“Then, after a few months, the batteries were no longer working because of the technology. I was again grounded.”

He was able to purchase old laptop batteries from Nairobi vendors for 50 Kenyan shillings (A$0.58) each and set about sorting the batteries’ working cells from those no longer function.

He then uses the working cells to build a functioning battery.

e-motorbikes in Kenya
Some of the motorcycles converted into electric vehicles by Ecomobilus. Photo credit: Ecomobilus.

Paul then started collecting old motorbikes, removing the engines and replacing them with a battery and electric motor.

According to the article, the converted bikes run on a 60-volt direct current. They can charge in as little as 45 minutes using a fast charger and have a range of up to 100km.

Paul started Ecomobilus and is selling his bikes to couriers and delivery riders, who say the electric bikes cost them half a much to operate as a petrol-driven motorcycle.

Leave a Comment