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E-Bike Africa

Expedition Starting in Glasgow on 19th November 2015. E-Bike Africa is a world record setting expedition from Glasgow to Cape Town. Explore the world without damaging the world.


This 20,000 kilometer journey on electric bikes provided by German e-bike pioneer Haibike aims to raise awareness of the environmental and human cost of climate change. Pulling solar trailers this ambitious project promotes innovative technology that can be part of the solution, whether you live in a European city or rural Africa.
Organised in partnership with the project‘s lead sponsor Pedelec Adventures, E-Bike Africa is the first action of new Scottish Charity, The Purple Heart Network. ”We want environmentally sensitive sustainable and technologies to be affordable, accessible and practical for everyone in Scotland and beyond so that everyone can play a meaningful part in tackling climate change,“ emphasises Chair of The Network, Johanna Speirs.
The lead rider of the expedition is Cape Town born, Glasgow based, enterpreneur and co-foun- der of The Purple Heart Network, Bruce MacLeod. On key parts of the trip, Bruce will be joined by Susanne Brüsch, electric bike journalist, photographer, and founder of Pedelec Adventures. ”Having cycled Morocco, Mongolia and Iceland, E-Bike Africa is another spectacular pedelec adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Africa from inside while putting today‘s e-bike technology to the longest test ever. The aims and values of The Purple Heart Network add ano- ther dimension to my work and desire to make a global impact“ says the inventor of the word pedelec. This term stands for pedal electric cycle and is internationally used to describe the type of e-bike that needs the rider to pedal for motor support.
500 extra Watts of Solar Energy
The bikes of choice for this adventure are speed-pedelecs provided by Haibike, Germany‘s leading e-performance bike brand. Epowered by Bosch‘s widely used eBike System, the expedition‘s high-performance XDURO models provide up to 500 Watts of motor power when pedaling and reach a maximum assisted speed of 45 km/h.
Pulling custom-built solar trailers to recharge the batteries of the bikes and other electronic de- vices will allow the adventurers to travel in a fully self-sufficient way while leaving the lightest possible carbon footprint.
Leaving from Glasgow on 19th November
The E-Bike Africa expedition starts at 10 am on Thursday 19th November when Bruce and Susanne will be leaving from Nelson Mandela Place in Glasgow that perfectly represents the historical connection between the city and South Africa. Passing Newcastle and Amsterdam, they will cycle to the COP21 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris that takes place in early December. In light of the tragic events in Paris on 13th November, the team re-evaluated these plans and decided that as long as COP21 goes ahead they will be there too, with a positive mes- sage, and as a mark of respect and solidarity.
Starting again from Paris in February, the second leg of the expedition will continue through France, Switzerland, Italy and reach the African continent in Alexandria, Egypt. The 13 countries to be crossed in Africa include Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mosambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa with Swaziland and Leshoto until Bruce will reach his home-town Cape Town in about one year from now.
Highlights will be the Pyramids at Giza, the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda, home of Africa‘s fast disappearing glaciers. ”We will visit environments and people experiencing immediate impacts of climate change,“ says Bruce MacLeod, father of two sons. ”Africa‘s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Victoria Falls and the only Penguin Colony in Africa at the continent‘s most southern tip are iconic examples.“
Bruce is especially passionate about visiting some of Africa‘s biggest and most exciting renewa- ble energy projects such as the largest wind farm in Northern Kenya and largest solar farm in South Africa.
The E-Bike Africa team is encouraged by world-famous adventurers like Marc Beaumont who loves the ambition of setting a World Record by using ”100% carbon free technology, to show the rest of the world what is possible, how we can explore the world without damaging the world.“
Find more information here:
Text and picture: Susanne Brüsch
Online publication: Angela Budde
19 November 2015



7 - 12 September 2021, IAA, Munich, Testtrack