First for Africa: Volkswagen Launch Electric Mobility Project in Rwanda
Electric mobility has been making waves into several cities and countries around the world. However, technology like this has a reputation of being adopted much later in African countries. Most manufacturers play the safe bet by not introducing electric models into African markets at all, but we will never know if we could go electric until we actually get a chance. That’s where Volkswagen comes in. They’re collaborating with Siemens to bring a handful of electric e-Golf’s into Rwanda to observe the feasibility of electric mobility in Africa.
The pilot phase will bring four e-Golfs and one charging station, provided by Siemens, to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. This is a milestone in itself because Rwanda will be the first African country to introduce a VW electric car.
Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Group South Africa and responsible for the Sub-Sahara Africa Region, said: “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.”
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 four e-Golfs will not go to four individual drivers, instead being added to the Volkswagen Mobility Solutions fleet that provides customised mobility services to the people of Rwanda. If the pilot phase goes well, we could see the number of e-Golfs go up from 4 to 50 vehicles, along with 14 new charging stations.
Thomas Schäfer commented: “The integrated mobility solutions business in Rwanda is our lighthouse project. In the past year, our operations in Kigali have provided us with valuable lessons and business intelligence which we plan to utilise in our growth strategy into other African markets like Ghana and Ethiopia.”