Swedish light electric motorcycle company, Cake, is lending its expertise to the important cause of anti-poaching, by teaming up with the Southern African Wildlife College to develop a sustainable and, crucially, quiet mode of transport for park rangers across Africa.
A report from the World Economic Forum this week said that the SAWC, a not-for-profit that has trained more than 18,000 people from 56 countries to work in 127 parks across Africa, has teamed with Cake to develop an electric, off-road trail bike called the Kalk AP – AP for “anti-poaching.”
According to Cake, the electric dirt bike is based on the company’s original Kalk platform, but with modifications that were work-shopped by both the SAWC rangers and the Cake product team to make it more sustainable and better suited to its uses in the African bush.
One of the inherent advantages of the Kalk AP, of course, is its super quiet electric motor, which – unlike its ice counterparts in the trail bikes that are already widely used by rangers – doesn’t sound a warning to poachers and give them time to avoid being caught.
Beyond that, Kalk AP’s 11kW motor offers a maximum ride-time of three hours between charges, while a portable solar powered charging kit – designed and developed for the purpose by solar company GoalZero – allows it to recharge away from home base.
At this stage, the SAWC is trialling a number of the Kalk AP bikes in South Africa, while Cake is offering to boost that number via a “charity combo” deal, with a trial production run of just 50 Kalk APs being sold as a buy-one-give-one bundle.
This works by offering customers in Cake’s developed markets – which happens to include Australia – two bikes for around $US30,000. The buyer gets one bike, while a Kalk AP plus solar charging kit is sent to the Southern African Wildlife College.
Not a bad deal, if you consider the cost of Cake Kalk OR electric off-road performance motorcycle appears to retail in Australia at around $A24,000.
Certainly, it’s a worthy cause. As WEC notes, illegal poaching in Africa kills 35,000 elephants a year and has driven the black rhino to the brink of extinction.
According to the Cake website, bikes purchased through this deal will begin shipping in September 2021.