Component 1: Electric bikeshare
•Pilot with conventional bicycles launched
•Two functional corridors
•Identification of further cycle lanes
•Policy Advice Paper pushing for e-bikes
•Training on e-bikeshare in China
•Conversation with EU industry on charging systems
Component 2: Electric moto-taxis
•Technical assistance mission on gender-inclusion contracted by UN-Habitat
•Connection with investors and asset financiers
•Support to the application to the NAMA facility for funding to e-motos & e-buses
E-mobility for last-mile connectivity
The demonstration action of the SOLUTIONSplus project in Kigali focuses on electric mobility for last-mile connectivity. It has a systemic approach integrating public transport bus services with electrified feeder services provided by electric moto-taxis and electric shared bicycles.
As a first step, the projects supports 50 shared e-bikes provided by Guraride and 10 e-moto taxis by Ampersand. Further support will increase the number of vehicles, alongside the corresponding needed charging infrastructure. A gender-inclusive dimension is central to the e-moto taxi component, reviewing conditions for the involvement of women in transport provision. This will ensure that at least 30 women are supported to obtain a driving license to drive an e-moto. The demonstration project is also testing the establishment of an e-bike sharing scheme along the most widely used bus corridors, with charging provided by dispatchers or battery swapping with mobile lockers.
To further support the first and last mile dimension, a Mobility-as-a-Service application is proposed and designed in cooperation with the transport regulatory authority and transport & IT providers.
Alongside this connectivity dimension, the SOLUTIONSplus project in Kigali supports the analysis of the feasibility to transition to electric buses. To that end, SolutionsPlus partners cooperate with stakeholders involved in bus electrification in Kigali and provide their technical expertise. Expectedly, the project will create a good precursor to public transport electrification in Kigali.
Finally, the SOLUTIONSplus project, via the creation of a dedicated position with the City of Kigali, supports the creation of an e-mobility technical committee. Its purpose is to enable deeper coordination between public entities, but also with the private sector and representatives of civil society. The support of SOLUTIONSplus is reinforced by ad-hoc capacity building and policy advice on policies and next steps to scale-up e-mobility in Kigali.
Trends and drivers
The main form of public transportation throughout Rwanda and in Kigali is the minibus system, which runs both scheduled and unscheduled services according to a shared taxi system. Vehicle number is increasing in Rwanda; and by 2030, it is projected that the annual increase in vehicles will reach 16.5% from the current 12%, and light-duty vehicles will increase by 20%. Rwanda’s CO2 emissions per capita is estimated at 0.074 metric tons in 2014; and in Kigali, the transport sector is said to contribute about 52% of CO2 emissions.
In response to these trends, the City of Kigali and RURA have made tremendous efforts to reorganize the city’s public transport system. The city currently runs a well organized bus system on regular shifts. Kigali is also promoting electric mobility by testing the use of electric motorbikes, known as e-moto. The aim is to provide a low cost and environmentally friendly mode of transport, mainly for motorcycle taxi riders. This initiative is being driven by private investors such as Ampersand which is an electric vehicle company with the mission to develop “mass-market shifts from petrol vehicles to direct, cheaper, better electric replacements”. Also, the German car maker Volkswagen is set to establish an assembly plant in Rwanda with first productions expected in 2019. The company also has plans for the manufacturing of electric cars in the future (Krauß, 2018). The presence of such investor-friendly environment in Rwanda makes it favourable to develop electric mobility in the country.