Vehicle maker, Volkswagen and tech company, Siemens have signed a joint development agreement to test the feasibility of electric mobility in Rwanda.
With the launch of the pilot project, Rwanda becomes the first African country to introduce a Volkswagen electric car.
The pilot project, which will form part of Volkswagen’s operations in Rwanda, was officially announced this October by Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Group South Africa and responsible for the Sub-Sahara Africa Region, in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, Right Honourable Dr. Edouard Ngirente.
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.
“The success of our innovative and pioneering mobility solutions business has shown us that Rwanda has the potential to leapfrog the internal combustion engines into electric cars. Rwanda 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,” Schäfer explained.
“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,” said Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa.
The pilot e-Golfs will be added into the Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda fleet to provide customized mobility service.
The plan is to increase the number of electric cars to 50 units and 15 charging stations, depending on the outcomes of the pilot project.
The drivers and technicians who will be working with the electric cars have received specialized training in preparation for launch of the pilot project.
“Africa’s youth need sustainable jobs and better prospects for a future in their home countries,” commented said Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“Therefore, German development cooperation supports innovative ideas for vocational education and environmentally-friendly mobility concepts for African cities. In this respect, initiatives such as Moving Rwanda are yet another step towards implementing the Marshall Plan with Africa,” he said.