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UBER on the Rise Since the Electric Bike Launch in Kenya

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Shares of Uber Technologies (UBER - Free Report) have had a good run on the bourses ever since this ride-hailing company announced the launch of an electric motorbike service in Kenya last week. UBER shares have gained 3.7% since Aug 29.

The latest expansion initiative highlights that Uber is making strides toward a greener future with its electric motorbike service launch in Kenya, marking its first such foray into the African market. This move aligns with Uber's ambitious goal of achieving an emissions-free global platform by 2040. Kagiso Khaole, Uber's General Manager for sub-Saharan Africa, hinted at further expansion across the region this year, potentially encompassing markets like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and South Africa.

The newly introduced service in Kenya, named "Electric Boda" after the Swahili term for motorbike taxis, plans to deploy 3,000 electric bikes within the next six months, accounting for nearly a fifth of Uber's overall fleet. Notably, drivers stand to benefit from a significant reduction in operating costs, estimated at 30-35%, while users will enjoy more affordable fares, with a 15-20% reduction compared to traditional Uber motorbike trips. Beyond cost savings, riders can anticipate a smoother and quieter experience with electric bikes generating lower vibrations and less noise.

Given its significant reliance on renewable energy sources, Kenya is an ideal choice for Uber's electric motorbike launch in Africa, accounting for over 90% of its power generation. The nation has also positioned itself as a frontrunner in Africa's transition towards sustainable transportation. Uber had previously undertaken small-scale electric bike pilots through external partnerships, but this dedicated service expansion signals the company's commitment to a sustainable future.

One of the major challenges in Africa's electric vehicle market has been the lack of adequate charging infrastructure. To address this issue, local companies have established battery-swapping stations in major cities like Nairobi, streamlining the charging process for electric vehicle owners. Kenya's President William Ruto's recent commitment to increasing the number of electric motorbikes on the road from 2,000 to over 200,000 by the end of 2024 underscores the government's support for this green shift.

Kenya's thriving motorbike transport sector plays a vital role in the country's employment landscape, absorbing a significant portion of the workforce who may not have access to formal employment opportunities. Uber's investment in electric motorbikes not only contributes to a cleaner environment but also supports the livelihoods of countless Kenyan riders.

Furthermore, Uber's expansion into new African markets, if successful in Kenya, could open doors to a vast and largely untapped market. This expansion diversifies the company's geographic reach, reducing its dependence on mature markets. However, investors should remain vigilant about potential challenges in scaling electric vehicle services in regions with inadequate charging infrastructure. Nonetheless, Uber's foray into Kenya is a notable step towards a more sustainable and profitable future.

Zacks Rank & Other Picks

UBER currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Investors interested in the Internet-Services industry may also consider LivePerson (LPSN - Free Report) and Marchex (MCHX - Free Report) , each currently carrying Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-quarter earnings surged 200% at LivePerson over the past 60 days. Shares of LPSN, which focuses on conversational artificial intelligence, have increased 12.6% over the past three months, driven by AI growth.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings increased 20% at Marchex over the past 60 days. Shares of MCHX, an AI-powered conversation intelligence company, increased 6.8% year to date, driven by AI growth.

Disclaimer: This article has been written with the assistance of Generative AI. However, the author has reviewed, revised, supplemented, and rewritten parts of this content to ensure its originality and the precision of the incorporated information.

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