According to Thomas Schaefer, managing director of VWSA, the motor company has already conducted a market survey in the country and confirmed suitability of the venture.
“We did a grid check in Rwanda together with GRZ (Technologies) and Siemens last year and they are ready. They already get their electricity from 70percent renewable energy and that will change to 100percent in the next 10 years,” Thomas said
Schaefer said that the frim intends to fill the gap presented by the “super expensive” petroleum products in the country.
“They are trucking their fuel from the Middle East to Dar es Salaam, then 3000km by road into Kigali. What for? They could immediately go electric.
Additionally, according to Schaefer, Africa is likely to adopt new technologies at a faster rate than developed world citing the case in telecommunications, hence expressed confidence in the countries on investments in new technologies.
This was part of a strategy to play a leading role in the emerging automotive industry in Africa and comprised semi-knocked down local assembly, a new vehicle business and innovative mobility services in Rwanda.
According to Andrew Kirby, the president and chief executive of Toyota South Africa Motors, sales trends for hybrid and electric vehicles in South Africa were completely contrary to global trends – which declined to 135 units last year from 646 in 2014.
“With the pressure on affordability in South Africa and the fact we don’t have any specific targeted government support in those two areas means we haven’t seen South Africa starting to follow what is happening around the world,” he said.