Tiny electric vehicles sparking ‘quiet revolution’ to clear the air: ‘Transformation for the future’

While the West tends to focus on cars, in Asia and Africa, smaller two- and three-wheeled vehicles are driving the switch from gas to electric, the New York Times reports.

For decades, many Asian and African nations have been moving toward electric vehicles — a push that has picked up speed in recent years with the advances in battery and EV technology, as well as the investment in charging infrastructure.

Today, data from BloombergNEF reveals that quiet, clean, and affordable EVs have cut the demand for expensive, highly polluting crude oil by 1.8 million barrels per day worldwide, as reported by the Times.

Of that 1.8 million, 1.08 million barrels’ worth of reduced demand is due to two- and three-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles and scooters. Outside of the U.S. and Europe, these are often used for taxi and delivery services.

For example, there are dozens of startups trying to provide electric motorcycles for taxi services in Kenya and Rwanda, and Indonesia and Thailand are trying to do the same, per the Times.

In 2023, India hit a milestone when over half of the new three-wheeled vehicles sold were electric. China is the world capital of two-wheeled electric vehicles after decades of promoting them as a way to reduce smog.

India is even seeing a revolutionary new service that allows EV users to swap out batteries instead of waiting for them to charge, a development that will make it easier than ever to own an electric scooter.

All of those tiny electric vehicles add up to a huge impact. Already, in concert with cars, they’ve eliminated 4% of the total demand for oil, the Times reported. They’re also noticeably reducing air pollution and its accompanying health risks.

“Electric bikes are quieter, much more efficient, and good for the environment,” Mazi Mobility founder Jesse Forrester told the Times.

His company has put 60 electric motorcycle taxis (“boda-bodas”) into Nairobi and is offering cheap loans to Kenyan drivers for electric motorcycle purchases.

“There’s a quiet revolution now in Kenya driving this transformation for the future,” Forrester added.

Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.