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Magdalene Maluta: The Engineer Behind Electric Tuk Tuks and Motorbikes On Kenyan Roads

By Prudence Minayo

Magdalene Maluta is a mechanical engineer who thrives in the electrical engineering world. She always wanted to know if Kenya would ever get  electrical vehicles and the process involved in converting diesel to electric vehicles. The engineer, who works at Arc Ride Kenya, leads a team of 20 engineers to convert diesel operated tuk tuks and motorcycles into electric. 

Here is her story as told by WoK. 

Background and Education 

She comes from a family of 11, and is the second last born. Her elder sister pursued electrical engineering and was her role model. 

She sat for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education  at Mwala Girls’ High School. Magdalene went on to pursue a diploma in Mechanical Engineering- Production Option at National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) and joined PC Kinyanjui Technical Training Institute.  It is her love for metals that inspired her pursuit for this particular field of engineering. 


Prior to the government restricting travel during Covid-19, she had just secured employment with an Information Technology company called e.kraal. This prevented her from taking the job but she got employed at a startup called Arc Ride Kenya where she leads a team of engineers to transform diesel tuk tuks and motorcycles to electrical. 

“The firm was to begin operations in April but the Covid-19 restrictions made everything shaky and so they had to call it off. However, in January, I got a call to join Arc Ride. They told me they were dealing with electric vehicles. It was not the same field, but I was trained to grasp the specifics of the trade,” she told Business Daily Africa in a post published on 16th July 2021. 


The engineer had always had the desire to know whether Kenya could get electrical vehicles and was fascinated with how a diesel engine could be converted to electrical. She is also interested in having a part in the conservation of the environment by reducing emissions caused by diesel engines. She joined Arc ride in January 2021 as a technical Specialist before becoming an inventory and maintenance manager in May 2022. 

In this role, she performs various functions, such as: tracking inventories, supervising the assembly of Electric Vehicles, assisting with the testing of new applications on the mobile phone, and overseeing the maintenance and support teams. 

Arc Rode was founded in 2020 and offers customers e-bikes, motorcycles, tuk tuks and mopeds. The company also deals in installation of battery swapping stations around the city while their mobile app allows owners to find these swapping stations. 

Previously, Magdalene Maluta has worked as a plant production technician trainee at New Kenya Cooperative Creameries Ltd and a technical assistant at Nodor International Limited.