• Eastern Africa
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Case study 27 January, 2023 Battery / Energy Storage E-mobility Micro/Mini-gridStand alone

Bodawerk – Shareable & circular Li-Ion batteries for Africa (Uganda)

Who, What & Where

  • Bodawerk
  • Shareable & circular Li-Ion batteries for Africa
  • Uganda

The Company

Bodawerk has developed a multi-purpose Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack powering different applications. The transition from oil to renewable energy requires the introduction of new energy storage at scale. Bodawerk believes in the potential of Li-ion batteries in the African context.
Motorcycles, tricycles, fishing boats, tractors, solar, and mobile energy systems require affordable and long-lasting batteries to make the energy transition a reality. The company has developed a standardised battery pack to unlock economies of scale for all of these applications. In addition to that, the battery is designed according to the principles of a circular economy allowing for easy reuse, repair and recycling.

The Challenge

  • The products imported are often not fit for the local market. The project addressed this through local product development.
  • No incentives for EVs in place
  • High level of bureaucracy for start-ups stifling development
  • The project has integrated pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) technology to make application batteries financeable

Renewable Solution

The following e-mobility solutions were introduced:

  • E-motorcycles
  • E-tricycles
  • E-tractors & other agricultural machinery
  • E-fishing boats
  • Hybrid e-car (pilot)
Max capacity of vehicle(s)
  • E-motorcycle: 250 kg (including one rider and one passenger or more)
  • E-tricycles: 500 kg confirmed (product still in development)
  • E-tractors: varying transportation capacity ranging from 150-1,000 kg
  • (with a trailer)
  • E-fishing boats: around 250-500 kg of fish
Decision on target market
  • Bodawerk targets industrial (productive) applications that are currently powered by petrol
  • The existing cash flows going into fuel, oil, maintenance, and spare parts provide the most viable business case for the deployment of batterypowered solutions
Local community engagement Bodawerk is based in Uganda. Testing and development of the batteries
with a consumer-centric approach together with the end-user was
Energy requirements for individual vehicles
  • E-motorcycles typically require between 4-6 kWh of energy per day to cover 100-150 km
  • E-tricycles require 2-3 times the amount of energy depending on the load
  • E-tractors require about 8 kWh of electricity per acre of land ploughed (4,000 m2)
  • E-fishing boats require about 8 kWh of energy for 30 km of range on the lake
Max operating distance
per single charge
  • E- motorcycle single rider: 170 km
  • E- motorcycle productive use case: 120 km
  • E- tricycle: 50 km (1 battery)
  • E- fishing boat: 30 km (2 batteries)
Battery type
  • Li-ion batteries, 48 V DC
  • Li-ion NMC cell chemistry
Inhouse DRE capacity to power e-mobility solution
  • Various solar hybrid systems ranging from 2-36 kWp are available for EV/battery charging. The total collective generation capacity is close to 100 kWp.
  • The batteries can also be charged with solar energy or on the grid
Energy storage & backup power Solar hybrid system is connected to the national grid

Project Financing and Costs

> 1,000,000 EUR (self-financed & bootstrapped)

Project Outcome

  • Motorcycle riders: increased income through reduced operational cost
  • Tricycle riders: increased income through reduced operational cost
  • Agriculture: increased income, less effort, higher productivity
  • Fishermen: increased income through reduced cost
  • Environment: less pollution
  • About 2.5 t CO2 per motorcycle per year, about 5 t CO2 per tricycle per year and up to 35 t CO2 per fishing boat avoided
  • The project develops, produces, maintains and recycles batteries locally creating green and decently paid jobs in future industries with a focus on youth and women
  • The company is an enabler for many local EV start-ups providing after-sales services to their EV fleet

Key Recommendations

  • Local development to achieve product-market fit
  • Always target high asset utilisation (shared and circular economy principles)
  • Financing must be part of the solution
  • Training and capacity building to ensure proper maintenance of technology