Kigali, Rwanda is among the first countries in Africa to launch electric vehicles and its charging points. Uganda and Rwanda are racing ahead of their East African neighbors in the global switch to electric motoring, even as infrastructure shortcomings limit investments in the emerging sector. Rwanda has set ambitious targets to become a green, climate-resilient and low carbon economy by 2050.
Some of Rwanda’s key strategies include: increasing energy efficiency, decarbonizing the power sector, switching to electricity and other low and zero-carbon fuels, and adoption of e-mobility. According to a survey conducted by The National Center for Biotechnology Information , vehicle emissions are the biggest contributor to poor air quality along busy roads at 60%. Many countries have tried curbing the effects of this by implementing electric cars which are both safe and economical.
According to the International Energy Agency, transportation is responsible for 24 per cent of global direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel combustion. Road vehicles – cars, trucks, buses and two- and three-wheelers – account for nearly three-quarters of transport CO2 emissions and are a leading contributor to climate change and air pollution, especially in cities. Also, according to the International Energy Agency, transportation is responsible for 24 per cent of global direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel combustion.
In order to enhance this shift to electric bikes and vehicles, and also increase infrastructure, a Rwandan company (Safi Universal link) has launched the first public multipurpose EV charging station which will enable all e-vehicles owners to access the service. The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has called upon the public and private institutions as well as individuals to consider shifting to electric vehicles and join the effort to beat air pollution. Electric vehicles’ adoption process in the country will also be facilitated by rent-free land for charging stations for land owned by the government further reducing the cost of set up and maintenance.
According to KT Press, the first public and multi EV charging station project powered by EV-Plugin technology, was on June 30, 2021 inaugurated at Kacyiru sector in Kigali city.
With charging stations expected to serve the roles currently served by gas stations, the incentives among other things seek to reduce the cost of energy powering the vehicles. The best charging times are stated to be from 11pm to 8am when people are less active and don’t use the electricity.
According to AllAfrica , to increase chances of Rwanda being a producer for electric vehicles, batteries and other inputs, the government has rolled out incentives in the investment code such as 15 percent Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and tax holiday for companies manufacturing and assembling electric vehicles. The e-mobility program plans for the phased adoption of electric buses, passenger vehicles (cars) and motorcycles from 2020 onwards and in the process reducing conventional vehicle sales, transport fuel imports and associated gas emissions. Rwanda has 170,000 personal motor vehicles, increasing by 12% per year.
In an effort to reduce the cost of ownership and maintenance of electric vehicles, the strategy approved by cabinet exempted import and excise duties on electric vehicles, spare parts, batteries and charging station equipment. The incentives also zero-rated Value Added Tax for electric vehicles, spare parts, batteries and charging station equipment. Ordinarily, vehicle imports have to settle a bill of 25 per cent import duty, 18 per cent VAT, five per cent to 15 per cent excise duty, depending on the size of the engine.
GURARIDE, a green e-mobility public bike-share (PBS) transport system company, is scaling up operations in Rwanda. It combines smart bikes, electric scooters, and electric bike-sharing in a single app to enable users to choose their ride preference. EV’s mission is to lead the evolution of e-mobility by promoting green transport — zero carbon emission vehicles — by providing a reliable charging network across Africa. EV-Plugin technology is currently being used in China, USA, the European Union and Scandinavia.
According to Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) resources mobilization strategy to raise funds for implementing Rwanda’s ten year climate plan, over $1 billion is needed to convert 20 percent of personal motor vehicles to electric vehicles.
As Rwanda seeks to reduce toxic emissions brought about by normal cars, produce cleaner air and greener cities, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Victoria Motors Rwanda Limited (VRML) are committed to making their contribution towards Rwanda’s Environmental Conservation efforts through promoting technologically inspired transportation in the domestic auto market.
The introduction of Mitsubishi electric SUV into Rwanda has been a product of extensive work with engineers and partners at the Mitsubishi factory in Japan as well as ABB engineers in the Netherlands, both of whom have comprehensively trained local technical teams to ensure competent after sales support. With The introduction of electric cars, we look to the future with excitement and make a contribution to a greener Rwanda
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