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Electric bikes to beat traffic jams

Bereng Mpaki

A GROUP of young entrepreneurs have teamed up to introduce battery powered motorbikes as a solution to the high levels of traffic congestion being experienced in Maseru.

WeGo Bikes (Pty) Ltd, a local company started by a group of youths have introduced the motor bikes targeting commuters who are tired of arriving at work or school late due to traffic congestion during the peak hours.

The motor bikes are also suitable for transporting goods. The company, which aims to provide durable and energy efficient transport solutions to businesses and the public, has a product range that includes scooters, bikes, trikes and loaders, which are imported from China.

One of the directors of WeGo, Bokang Molelle, said the motorbikes not only helped commuters to maneuver tight spaces around congested roads, but also saved them from the high costs of buying petroleum fuels for vehicles.

The bikes are powered a battery which is charged using electricity and when fully charged, the bikes can travel distances of up to 70 kilometres at maximum speeds of 70km per hour. Mr Molelle said the loaders can each carry the weight that is equivalent to that of 10 bags of cement.

He said the bikes were therefore suitable for transporting people and goods over short distances around the cities. Apart from commuting workers, persons who can find the bikes useful are corporates who need light vehicles for conveying messages and goods.

“The idea of introducing the motor bikes was inspired by the challenge of traffic congestion that we observed on our roads in major cities during peak hours,” Mr Molelle told the Sunday Express.

“We offer environmentally friendly electric vehicles. This is also in an attempt to address the climate change issue which adversely affects the environment.

“These bikes are fuel and cost efficient as they can be quickly charged using electricity. This is very cheap compared to somebody who has to fill up a vehicle with petrol or diesel,” he said, adding that the cost of the purchasing the motorbikes ranged from M10 000 to M15 000. He further said that the motorbikes could be bought on hire purchase and they had a three-year guarantee.

Although they have a hooter, one challenge for the bikes is that they do not make any sound when in motion and that can result in accidents with unsuspecting people or animals.

Mr Molelle said they were currently in talks with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport on licensing procedures before the motorbikes can be allowed on the roads.

Efforts to contact the traffic department of the Ministry of Public Works were not successful as the telephones rang unanswered yesterday.

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