Quiet, solar-charged electric motorcycles to combat poachers in Africa – Electrek

December 17, 2020
Micah Toll
– Dec. 17th 2020 11:46 am PT


Swedish electric off-road motorcycle manufacturer CAKE is preparing to help combat endangered wildlife poaching in Africa.

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The company has just announced a partnership with the South Africa-based Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) to establish the Electric Bush Bike Anti-Poaching Act.
The partnership will also be supported by Goal Zero, manufacturer of many popular solar-charging and off-grid battery products.
Wildlife poaching has ravaged the population of critically-endangered animals in much of Africa.
Dirt bikes have become one of the most potent tools used by rangers to track and apprehend poachers.
While the off-road bikes have proven to be highly successful in providing quick and rugged transport in the unforgiving terrain, they also have two major setbacks.
First, they require constant refueling of gasoline that must often be dropped into remote areas by helicopter. Second, the dirt bikes and their combustion engines are loud, tipping off poachers who can hear them coming from a distance.
CAKE’s electric motorbikes don’t require helicopter support for refueling and can operate silently to sneak up on unsuspecting poachers.
With the help of Goal Zero’s charging solutions, the CAKE electric motorbikes can be charged entirely off-grid, remaining completely self-supported. The low maintenance of electric motorcycles further increases the amount of time that the bikes can operate independently in the bush.
While we’ve often seen electric motorcycles used for military and other operational tasks, anti-poaching could become the latest field uniquely-suited to silent electric motorbikes.
As CAKE CEO and founder Stefan Ytterborn explained in a statement provided to Electrek:
“It is somewhat unreal how the sun and solar power, together with the technology of these silent off-road motorbikes can serve as something of a perpetual machine that works toward the general obligation of sustainability and, in this specific instance, to serve the purpose of saving species from extinction.”
CAKE has already been developing the specially designed African Bush Bikes it will use in the program, and the company will officially show off the new electric bikes next month.
The first few months of 2021 will see significant testing of the bikes on location in advance of the anticipated May 2021 rollout of the new program.
We’ll be sure to follow up with the report then, but in the meantime, we want to hear your thoughts on this new approach to anti-poaching. Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power, The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide and The Electric Bike Manifesto.
The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0, the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2, the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission, and the $3,299 Priority Current. But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.
You can send Micah tips at Micah@electrek.co
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