Shift EV is an electric mobility technology startup based in Cairo, Egypt. It aims to electrify commercial vehicle fleets in emerging markets through its proprietary plug & play fleet electrification technology.
The transportation sector worldwide is responsible for emitting about one quarter of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) that surround the earth, trap the sun’s heat, and lead to the global warming and climate change that affect all of us—but hurt the world’s poor most.
According to the United Nations, between 2000 and 2019, GHG emissions from transport rose in every region of the world except Europe (where they fell by two percent). Reducing these emissions is difficult because of the value that people place on transportation and the global dominance of petroleum as a fuel. The rapid urbanization occurring in nations across Asia and Africa—which, to be sure, brings many benefits in terms of poverty alleviation and opportunity advancement—has led to an increase in the number of fossil-fueled vehicles on the road. This in turn leads to more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and worse air pollution.
Electric vehicle adoption is critical in the effort to tackle climate change by reducing GHG emissions, but 95 percent of the world’s transport energy still comes from fossil fuels. An affordable and achievable solution to this problem is to retrofit vehicles that are currently powered by internal combustion engines (ICE). Retrofitting an ICE vehicle is significantly less expensive than purchasing a new electric vehicle (EV). Likewise, the total cost of owning a fleet of EVs is appreciably lower than that of owning an ICE fleet, with savings due primarily to maintenance and fuel costs.
Shift EV provides this service—which it calls “electrofitting”— to commercial vehicle owners in Egypt via a subscription that requires no upfront expenditure. In just two hours, it removes the vehicle’s internal combustion engine (ICE), and associated parts, and replaces it with an electric battery pack, and associated components. In addition to providing the hardware solution, Shift EV connects converted vehicles to its fleet analytics and operating system, called ShiftWare, to help them optimize their routes and operations.
Shift EV’s retrofitting solution will likely yield 4.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions savings over the next five-year period—a number that will increase considerably as the company expands its services to other markets. It will also lead to a significant reduction in air pollution, which will be immediately impactful for residents of rapidly urbanizing cities. The accelerated adoption of clean vehicles would save 25 million years of life by 2030 alone, with the highest gains in regions that have the highest poverty rates.
King Philanthropies’ equity investment in Shift EV will help reduce GHG emissions from transportation and thereby slow the rate of global warming, the impact of which disproportionately hurts the world’s poorest people.