Demonstration City: Dar es Salaam
Policy guidelines for electric two- and three-wheelers and paratransit in various locations across the world were added to the SOLUTIONSplus online toolbox.
Dar es Salaam stakeholders benefited from regional training on EV Charging Infrastructure (2021), EV battery technologies and end-of-life management (2022), and on-site training on public transport electrification (2023). Exchange with Indian cities, more advanced on electric three-wheelers, took place in July 2022.
Two local start-ups are supported in Kigali: Auto Truck (new and retrofitted electric three-wheelers) and SESCOM (retrofitted electric three-wheelers), via seed funding and technical support on battery sizing and vehicle retrofitting. An EU-based organisation, EURIST, was selected to provide electric bicycles and morphed into a new company for the deployment in East-Africa, the African Ebike Trading GmbH.
Introducing electric three-wheelers required the development of prototypes, local partnerships, and data collection. Auto Truck manufactures vehicles incorporating locally available materials in close partnership with the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology; Auto Truck and SESCOM also explore vehicle conversion. Vehicles will be launched in the first quarter of 2023. To identify appropriate specifications of vehicles, charging, and operational and business strategies, SOLUTIONSplus collected substantial and unprecedented data in 2021 and 2022 (GPS tracking, survey of drivers and users, frequency occupancy). A Design Studio looked at the integration of electric three-wheelers with the BRT system.
In addition, SOLUTIONSplus introduced 16 pedal-assist electric bicycles, co-designed with a German company and locally assembled, to be used for urban deliveries and the transport of medical supplies, launched in November 2022. SOLUTIONSplus will assess the feasibility to scaling up the use of electric bicycles for urban deliveries.
E-mobility for last-mile connectivity
The demonstration project in Dar Es Salaam will focus on e-mobility for last-mile connectivity. The demonstration aims at integrating 60 electric feeder/e-3-wheeler and distribution services with Dar es Salaam’s BRT (DART) to support first/last mile connectivity. The e-3-wheelers (newly built 50 imported/provided by DART and 10 newly built with Valeo components), will be an integral part of public transport. Under SOLUTIONSplus, the deployment of e-3 wheelers will happen at 5 DART stations considering urban locations: a) in the city centre, where fossil-fuelled 3-wheelers are currently banned for environmental reasons and where accessibility to/from the BRT stations can be limited due to longer distances; b) in peri-urban areas where combustion-fuelled 3-wheelers are currently very common as feeder-modes. Also, a feasibility study on the electrification with respect to vehicle specifications (range, speed), charging infrastructure (type and location) will be carried out. As part of this, state-of-the-art data collection methods using geo-localization devices will be applied for a detailed derivation of the systems specifications. Subsequently, an implementation plan for the introduction of e-3-wheelers will be developed. This will follow a systemic approach and include the development of business models (vehicle ownership, rental schemes, and maintenance), the charging infrastructure and localisation.
Further aspects to be assessed under the demonstration relate to the battery type (fixed vs. battery swapping), ownership models (leasing/pay-per-use model), the use of existing telecom and power distribution boxes to accommodate vehicle charging, fleet bundling, and eco-routing. Interaction with the passengers and the system will be fostered through the SOLUTIONSplus-MaaS-smartphone application that will consider the growing smartphone ownership of Dar es Salaam’s population, to allow a maximum spread of the use and increase smart metering services. An open Application Program Interface (API) will be made available to allow 3rd-parties/software programmers to develop further services. The demonstration project will furthermore include local stakeholders as much as possible to increase the acceptance of the system: The current 3-wheeler market employs many people in Dar and the inclusion of current drivers will be a crucial target of the project. Furthermore, capacity building on sustainable maintenance of the vehicles will be carried out, building on the current structures of OEMs in Tanzania. Tanzania has already a high share of renewable energies through hydropower which will be used for the services.
Trends and drivers
Due to rapid urban growth and growing individual motorisation, the transport system in Dar Es Salaam suffers from chronic congestion. This has led Dar es Salaam City Council to introduce a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme in 2016 (named DART). 140 fossil fuelled buses are currently running, connecting the city centre with the Western suburbs (phase 1). The existing BRT stations and terminals are therefore important transport hubs. Further plans include expansion to new routes and the addition of 150 buses, which could be powered by CNG. The city however also considers other sustainable solutions including electric mobility solutions (e.g. e-Feeder to BRT, e-BRT-Busses, e-bike sharing).
Apart from the BRT, public transport predominantly depends on a large fleet of privately-owned minibuses (so-called dala-dala), which are often not roadworthy and contribute to congestion and air pollution. In the medium to long term, public authorities envisage to phase-out the minibuses on all major roads and replace them with BRT buses. In addition to these bus services, motorised two- and three-wheeler taxis (moto-taxis) are very common since mid of the 2000s. They are being used by the population for shorter distances and they enable feeder-connectivity into DART and the paratransit-buses. In areas unserved by buses, motorcycle-taxis are the only publicly available mode of transportation and hence offer a de-facto public transport service filling a gap in the transport system. Despite these obvious benefits for peoples’ mobility, the two- and three-wheelers have contributed to increased pollution in the city with the transport sector contributing 57% of the total CO2 emissions from fuel combustion
Generally, the business models in the 3-wheeler-market have developed within the past 10-15 years and are well established. Hence, the current equilibrium between drivers, drivers’ associations and investors should be handled with care, as destroying these complex interrelations could decrease the acceptance and provoke resistance of those fearing to lose their source of income. Looking at the vehicles, the conventional 3-wheeler vehicle market is dominated by three manufacturers: the Indian brand TVS King, the Indian company Bajaj and the Italian company Piaggio.
Compared to 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers are more sustainable as they have the capacity to carry three passengers plus the driver and provide easier access for disabled persons. Apart from increasing mobility, 3-wheeler-motortaxi provide much-needed employment opportunities. Till date, the market had already created an estimate of about 50,000 direct jobs. The growth has been fuelled by a large number of mainly small-scale investors who offer vehicles to drivers who cannot afford their own vehicle. Besides a minor share of independent owner-drivers, the two- and three-wheeler market, therefore, is dominated by drivers who rent a vehicle or have a hire-purchase contract, where ownership of the vehicle is transferred from the initial owner/investor to the driver (typically) after 18 months. Recently, registered drivers’ associations have started copying these business models and provide vehicles for their members at better conditions.
With renewable electricity output currently at 43 % of total electricity output, the country’s aim is to increase its share of renewable energy production through increasing use of hydro-power, solar and other renewable energy sources. Dar Es Salaam is in nascent phase for EVs and no electric vehicles exist to-date, a feasibility study on the electrification with respect to vehicle specifications (range, speed), charging infrastructure (type and location) will be carried out first. As part of this, state-of-the-art data collection methods using geo-localization devices will be applied for a detailed derivation of the systems specifications. Subsequently, an implementation plan for the introduction of e-3-wheelers will be developed. This will follow a systemic approach and include the development of business models (vehicle ownership, rental schemes, and maintenance), the charging infrastructure and localisation.