Zero Motorcycles successfully complete “Africa-X” project

Zero Motorcycles successfully complete “Africa X” projectElectric adventurers cross African continent on Zero DSR Black Forest Edition.

Thomas Jakel and Dulcie Mativo arrive in Johannesburg after 15,000km journey from Morocco on all-electric motorcycle.

After six months, 20 countries, 100 interviews and an epic 15,000 kilometre (9300 mile) ride, Thomas Jakel and Dulcie Mativo have successfully completed their journey through Africa. Riding a Zero DSR Black Forest Edition, the electric touring motorcycle from Zero Motorcycles, the adventurers met with numerous change makers and innovators from Morocco to South Africa. The last stop along the West Route of Africa was the handover of the motorcycle to the ‘Fire it Up’ dealership in Johannesburg on December 10th.

Thomas (33), from Germany, and Dulcie (24), from Kenya, wanted to inspire future entrepreneurs with their project, dubbed Africa-X. During their expedition, they interviewed start-up founders from numerous fields: Mobility, Energy, Agriculture, Healthcare, Sanitation, Education and more. Jakel and Mativo will publish the impressions of their Africa-X project as inspiration for prospective entrepreneurs early next year, covering interviews and a travel documentary through social media and podcasts. “We want to inspire as many people as possible to become change makers and help develop solutions for upcoming challenges, whether in Africa, Europe or anywhere else,” says Thomas.

The 15,000km route through deserts and other difficult terrain challenged the riders, as well as the Zero. An accompanying car, which served as a transport vehicle for luggage, charging and video equipment was unable to be repaired in Cameroon and had to be left behind, meaning that the duo sold most of their equipment and continued the journey solely on the electric motorcycle.

According to Dulcie, the Zero was a good way to connect with the people on the road. “We shocked many with our adventurous plan to master such a route with an electric motorcycle,” she said. On one occasion, a troop of border police in Sierra Leone wanted to take a selfie with the electric motorbike. Several times, police considered the DSR Black Forest Edition to be a military vehicle due to the camouflage pattern and saluted the passing adventurers.

The duo carried out much of their charging during overnight stops, which Thomas said was both convenient and inexpensive. He added: “It requires some planning to ride through Africa on an electric motorcycle but with forward planning and sufficient charging breaks, usually overnight, the low-maintenance Zero was a reliable partner for the Africa-X project. We got the electricity for free or included in our hotel fees, whereas no one is giving the gasoline away for free. it is easy to say that we would have saved a ton of money even if we would have had to pay to every time we recharged.”

For more details about the Zero DSR Black Forest Edition and the entire 2020 line, visit

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