His vision is to use them to power electric bicycles. After gathering the batteries from dealers in Nairobi, he takes them back to his workshop for the transformation.
Here, he meticulously categorizes the batteries, distinguishing between those that still function and those that no longer work. Subsequently, he assembles them into batteries capable of energizing electric motorbikes. The inspiration for this invention came after he encountered issues with a bike he had purchased.
"Since electric bikes were not readily available in Kenya, I had to import one," he explained. "It came with lead-acid batteries, but after a few months, the batteries ceased to function due to technological issues. I was left without a working bike, which meant I could no longer commute to my job. Through my resourcefulness and innovation, I was able to source low-cost batteries, and that's how I stumbled upon laptop batteries."
He established a company called Ecomobilus to supply these laptops-battery-powered bikes. He acquires frames from old motorcycles, removes their engines, and replaces them with a battery and an electric motor to drive the bike.
These bikes operate on a 60V direct current. Charging the batteries takes several hours, but with a fast charger, it can be reduced to just 45 minutes. A fully charged battery can cover distances of up to 100 kilometers. He claims that his invention offers several advantages over traditional motorbikes.
"Ecomobilus bikes outperform gasoline-powered bikes in several ways. Firstly, their maintenance costs are significantly lower because they lack mechanical components that frequently require repairs. We only recommend servicing every two years since there are no engines to maintain; we're dealing with motors," he stated.
"Secondly, in terms of charging costs versus fueling costs, it is much more affordable. For a full charge, we estimate it costs less than $3, while motorbike taxis (bodabodas) spend over $7 a day to operate the same bike. In terms of cost-effectiveness and maintenance, this is an easy-to-maintain and cost-efficient option."
Some individuals have reported that they are saving money since transitioning from petrol-fueled bikes to these electric versions.
"Previously, the other bike was costly in terms of fuel expenses and time, but with the electric bike, it consumes less time and is more efficient. I save on fuel since I no longer use it. I only spend 200 ($2) on tokens, and I'm good for the rest of the day," stated John Mwangi, a rider who has been using the bike for about six months.
These electric bikes have also earned approval from Dennis Wakaba, an electric mobility specialist.
"Using new batteries extends the life of electric vehicles, but the use of secondary batteries is crucial, especially in climate change mitigation. This approach helps to reduce emissions generated by manufacturing, assembly, and shipping of new batteries," he explained.
"Incorporating secondary batteries into motorcycles and other electric vehicles can boost the number of electric vehicles, which in turn reduces air pollution and noise pollution. Fewer emissions lead to improved well-being for people."
Not only do these bikes contribute to environmental preservation, but the readily available source of laptop batteries in Kenya makes them a sustainable transportation option for local residents.