Volkswagen in partnership with Siemens under a pilot project has launched four electric e-Golf cars in Rwanda.
The electric cars which are assembled in Germany and imported to Rwanda can cover up to 230 Kilometers in an ideal setting. However, it is subject to altitude, terrain, gradient amongst other factors.
Speaking at the launch of the electric cars, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente saluted Rwandans for making environmental protection a top priority. He went on to say that “we are confident that the introduction of environmentally friendly transport services will accelerate the reduction of air pollution levels” in Rwanda.
The Prime Minister equally encouraged companies operating in the country to join in the development of environmentally eco-friendly innovations.
Thomas Schafer, the Chief Executive of Volkswagen Group South Africa, said that Rwanda has a young and progressive population that appreciates modern mobility.
Schafer declared that together with the support from Siemens and the government of Rwanda, “Volkswagen wants to make the e-Golf pilot project in Rwanda a blueprint for electric mobility in Africa”.
Prior to the launch, an assessment to determine the capacity of Kigali and if the city can support the electric cars was conducted by Siemens, Rwanda energy group and officials from Kigali.
According to the findings, the city’s grid was adequate enough to support the charging stations at the launch. Subsequently, it will power the different piloting phase and the proposed 15 charging stations across the city.
With the launch Gura Ride, a green e-mobility transport company in Kigali earlier this month, Rwanda is said to be the pioneer of green transportation in Africa.
Generally, green transportation is beneficial to both economies and the environment. This is because the current transportation systems come with several problems such as global warming, environmental degradation, health implications, and emission of greenhouse gases.
The transport sector reportedly accounts for 23 percent of the globe’s greenhouse gas emission resulting from burning of fossil fuels, ultimately raising the risks of climate change. This highlights the importance of Rwanda’s attempt to overhaul its present transport system for an improved, eco-friendly and sustainable one.
In line with championing sustainable transport systems, the East African nation prioritizes the development of a climate-resilient low carbon economy which also includes the building of smart green cities, smart transport facilities, and services amongst others.