Olukokun has been teaching courses in Mechatronics Engineering over the past 10 year and also helped to build the ThinkElectric Africa Initiative. He decided to start his ThinkBikes business using his savings.
ThinkElectric Africa is a non-profit organization that aims to help Africa transition to sustainable energy and transport. Tolulope says, “We do this through uplifting and educating people.”
ThinkBikes is a local micro-mobility company that manufactures 2- and 3-wheelers for last-mile transport of goods and people. Tolulope has worked on several projects over the past 9 years. Now, he believes it is time to concentrate full-time on ThinkBikes Limited.
Alpha 1.0 is the first product of ThinkBikes, an electric cargo tricycle that transports cargo and targets the growing on-demand delivery market.
More than 90% of components, including the wheels and batteries, are locally sourced. Only the electric motors can be imported. Recycled/18650 cells are used to make the battery packs, just like other startups in this sector, like Bodawerk in Uganda.
Another great example of electric mobility’s circular economy is the recycling of old laptop cells. Repurposed cells are used to make battery packs that are significantly cheaper and more accessible to their market. The batteries are 1.68 kWh. The motors have a peak power output of 1.5 kW and the bikes can travel up to 100 km empty. They can also be loaded with 60 km.
ThinkBikes targets small and medium businesses in Nigeria’s booming logistics, delivery and transport industry. These include farmers, agricultural processors and retailers as well as general traders. Their initial engagements in Ibadan and Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Lagos have received positive responses. ThinkBikes already has over 100 orders for its tricycles.
ThinkBikes was awarded a grant in a competition process by the Siemens Strifftung 2021 Innovation Call. The call is titled Emobility made in Africa. Due to high demand from potential clients in the fishing and trade of perishable products, ThinkBikes is currently looking at adding chillers and cooler boxes powered by solar panels. This will help reduce food waste.
ThinkBikes will also offer a subscription service for leasing bikes. Clients can rent bikes on a daily basis, weekly or monthly basis. Remote monitoring will be a major focus of ThinkBikes. Overloading 2- and 3-wheelers is a major problem. Even 2-wheelers can be seen carrying multiple bags of cement. ThinkBikes is a telematics company that uses IOT to monitor and reduce these problems. Tolulope says that they are also collecting data to help the government and us plan for a sustainable Nigerian city and transportation system.