RWANDA – Car manufacturer Volkswagen and Siemens have signed an agreement to build an electric car factory in Rwanda. In a first for the African continent, they launched a pilot project to test the feasibility of electric mobility in an African country.
The pilot project, which will form part of Volkswagen’s operations in Rwanda, was officially announced 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 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.
With the launch of the pilot project, Rwanda becomes the first African country to introduce a Volkswagen electric car.
“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.” said Schäfer
“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 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 the 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.
The electric mobility project was developed within the Moving Rwanda initiative, a cooperation between Volkswagen, Siemens, SAP and Inros Lackner and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
GIZ supported the e-mobility project by bringing together relevant partners from the private and public sector and by advising on the development benefits of the project.
The Moving Rwanda Initiative was established as the result of Volkswagen’s initial investment in Rwanda, which saw the launch of Africa’s first Integrated Mobility Solutions business in June 2018.