Solar-powered motorbikes and tuk-tuks could help women in rural Kenya carry out vital day-to-day tasks thanks to academics at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The researchers have won funding from P4G Pioneering Green Partnerships to help address the lack of affordable transport and energy for women in Kisumu region of Kenya.

Dr Roberto Ramirez-Iniguez, who is leading the 17-month project on behalf of GCU’s SMART Centre, said there are 1.5 million male riders in Kenya, but women do not tend to own or operate vehicles.

He said: “Women themselves require quick modes of transportation for the delivery of goods to and from markets to their home. We are devising a way for them to lease e-vehicles and pay for the fully charged batteries, which will enable them to save money on mobility and have access to efficient and clean transport sources.”

The academic team from GCU, which also includes Professor Mohamed Emad Farrag, will provide training and advice on the design of solar-powered charging hubs and on battery charging for electric motorbikes and electric tuk-tuks, with the solar-powered charging hubs themselves to then be built on location in Kisumu county. Matched funding provided by commercial partners e-Safiri Charging Limited and KIRI EV Limited will be used to fund the hubs.

These will then be piloted in collaboration with the Nyaman Women Group and Solakjilimo, who are non-commercial partners in the project.