Rwanda’s Infrastructure Ministry last Tuesday showcased the e-Mobility Technology, an event organised in partnership with Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).
According to REMA, “vehicular emissions are the largest contributor to air pollution in Rwanda’s urban centres”; this showcase, therefore, is exhibiting innovations that seek to cut down on such emissions.
This inaugural event also seeks to demonstrate the power and potential of sustainable transport to create jobs, grow the economy and improve health outcomes for all.
e-Mobility or specifically Electro mobility represents the concept of using electric power-train technologies, in-vehicle information, communication technologies and connected infrastructures to enable the electric propulsion of vehicles and fleets.
Powertrain technologies include full electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, as well as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that convert hydrogen into electricity.
e-Mobility efforts are motivated by the need to address corporate fuel efficiency and emission requirements, as well as market demands for lower operational costs.
Road map for e-mobility transition in Rwanda
Since Electric vehicles (EV) are gaining popularity among both governments and the private sector globally as an energy-efficient mobility technology, Rwanda embraces the fact that their expansion is now inevitable, as they aim to scale up their nascent e-moto industry.
Researchers recommend e-mobility be implemented in the context of a wider vision and set of policies that increase the person-carrying capacity of roads, implement complete streets and integrate different modes of transport.
The researchers suggest that government of Rwanda identifies a viable market segment of early EV adopters, and apply a combination of fiscal incentives including price subsidies, well-targeted tax breaks, and non-fiscal incentives to increase e-mobility in the early stages.
According to statistics (2020), Rwanda has 221,000 registered vehicles consisting of 52% motorcycles and 38% passenger vehicles of which at least 30,000 are in Kigali.
The number of vehicles is increasing rapidly (almost 12% per year) and the government is thus concerned about deteriorating air quality in Kigali and rising fuel import bills (12% of total imports).
A recent EV study recommended that government should aim to convert 30% of motorcycles, 8% of cars, 20% buses and 25% of mini and micro-buses to electric power, by 2030, although senior officials and private sector firms have expressed their desire for a faster transition, especially in e-motos.
Currently, Volkswagen is also exploring electric mobility solutions and Global Green Growth Institute is studying the possibility of introducing e-buses.
Electrification of motorbikes will improve air quality and therefore health outcomes, cut carbon emissions (from about 55.1 grams per kilometre for ICE-motos to about 13.3 grams per kilometre for e-motos)
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