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Emissions Impacts of Electrifying Motorcycle Taxis in Kampala, Uganda

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
December 13, 2021

Large fleets of motorcycle taxis (boda-bodas) in Kampala, Uganda, and other cities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) emit significant local and global air pollutants. To reduce emissions, companies have started selling electric motorcycles. We evaluate the emissions impact of electrifying motorcycle taxis by combining real-world trip and charging data with an economic dispatch model of the Ugandan power system. We test the sensitivity of our results to emissions factor uncertainties, hydrological years, on-site solar, and other factors. We find that electrifying gas-powered motorcycle taxis would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and hydrocarbon emissions by 38%, 90%, 58%, and 97%, respectively, but increase sulfur oxide (SOx), particulate matter 10 m or less (PM10), and particulate matter 2.5 m or less (PM2.5) emissions by 870%, 109%, and 97%, respectively. Emission changes due to electrification exhibit significantly seasonality due to hydropower generation constraints. Emission changes also vary spatially. For instance, PM and SOx emission increases stem from generation at bagasse and HFO point sources far from load centers. Overall, we find clear and potential sustainability benefits of electrifying motorcycle taxis in Kampala, and provide a generalizable framework for analyzing benefits of electrifying motorcycles across LMICs.

Bhavesh Rathod
Thomas Courtright
Teanna Sims
Research Areas
Mobility Systems
Publication Type
Conference Proceeding
Full Citation

Craig, Michael, Max Vanatta, Bhavesh Rathod, Jacob Calzavara, Thomas Courtright, Teanna Sims, Herek Clack, and Pamela Jagger. "Emissions Impacts of Electrifying Motorcycle Taxis in Kampala, Uganda." AGU2021 (2021). CSS21-54