Volkswagen has launched a pilot project in partnership with Siemens to test the feasibility of electric mobility in an African country,
The project in Rwanda is the first time an electric car scheme has been trialed on the continent, according to Volkswagen.
During the pilot phase, four e-Golfs and one charging station will be introduced in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali. Volkswagen has signed a joint development agreement with Siemens to provide the charging infrastructure for the electric cars.
Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Group South Africa and responsible for the Sub-Sahara Africa Region said, “Rwanda has the potential to leapfrog the internal combustion engines into electric cars. It has a young and progressive population that appreciates individual and modern mobility.
“Together with our development partner Siemens and with the support from the Government of Rwanda, Volkswagen wants to make the e-Golf pilot project in Rwanda a blueprint for electric mobility in Africa.”
Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa said, “Our partnership with Volkswagen on this project solidifies our commitment not only to Rwanda but to the East Africa region. By contributing towards shaping the African market for intelligent, adaptive infrastructure, while addressing skills challenges in this sector, Siemens is helping to build a more sustainable future for the people of Rwanda.”
The companies plan is to increase the number of the electric cars in the scheme to 50 and increase the number of charging stations to 15, depending on the outcomes of the pilot project.
The electric mobility project was developed within the Moving Rwanda initiative, a cooperation between Volkswagen, Siemens, SAP and Inros Lackner and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). GIZ supported the e-mobility project by bringing together relevant partners from the private and public sector and by advising on the development benefits of the project.