7th June 2021 , Kigali , Rwanda. The Government of Rwanda has announced a prioritization of the transition to e-mobility for all vehicle types. In order to encourage the private sector to introduce different models of electric vehicles, the Rwanda Development Board initiated several incentives including a preferential corporate income tax rate of 15%, reduced electricity tariff at the industrial level, and in some cases, rent free land available for the installation of charging infrastructure.
The estimated cost of transitioning to e-mobility and the adoption of electric vehicles in Rwanda is 900 million USD.
However, transitioning to electric motorcycles alone would save the Rwandan economy 23 billion RWF (22 million USD) in fuel imports per year.
According to Michelle De Freese , Senior Green Growth Officer, GGGI Rwanda “The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Rwanda Country Programme has been providing support to the Government of Rwanda to introduce electric buses – first within the City of Kigali, and eventually to other urban centers in the country.”
CO2 emissions from road transport account for 13% of the total emissions in Rwanda and are expected to continue to rise. Although buses comprise only 15% of the total vehicles in Rwanda, they constitute approximately 40% of the total emissions from the transport sector.
The average age of buses in Rwanda is 9 years resulting in lower fuel efficiency (9.2 L/100Km) and higher emissions (220 gCO2/km).
“In addition, the import of used buses and minibuses has resulted in an increase in various forms of air pollution, especially particulate matter which contributes to non-communicable diseases. As a result, vehicular traffic is now the main source of air pollution in cities in Rwanda.” Michelle De Freese says in a statement sent to TOPAFRICANEWS earlier today.
As a result of these measures, Rwanda aims to have 20% of all buses transition to electric by 2030, which will result in an estimated reduction of 72,000 tCO2eq.
To enable the introduction of electric buses in the City of Kigali, GGGI conducted an assessment of electric bus charging infrastructure.
The assessment was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), and the Rwanda Energy Group (REG) with data on operations and maintenance provided by Kigali Bus Services (KBS).
The report includes recommendations on charging infrastructure types, vehicle models, and charging locations. The report also provides a comparison of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of installing and operating electric buses compared to diesel buses.
As part of the technical assistance being provided to support the adoption of e-buses, GGGI supported 13 Government of Rwanda officials to complete training in electric bus system modeling and optimization. The course equipped trainees with lectures, software to run simulations, and the theory to model energy use scenarios based on disruptions.
The training included modules on network planning, charging strategies, battery lifecycle estimations, total cost of ownership analysis, and route-specific energy demands for different bus and charging types.
The course software (EVOPT) also allows for an analysis of route energy requirements using different bus models and battery sizes. For the City of Kigali, this type of analysis is especially important given the steep, hilly topography dominating the majority of the city.
The next phase of the project will be to mobilize the resources and green investment necessary to enable the transition to electric buses first in the City of Kigali, and eventually in other parts of the country.
The project will also facilitate a Training of Trainers to introduce the electric bus system and optimization modeling software to the private sector through the technical staff within the transport operators licensed within the City of Kigali.
The aim of the training will be to increase technical capacity beyond the government officials to fleet operators that will be able to model the energy and cost requirements to make data-driven, evidence-based decisions on the acquirement of different bus models, battery types, and investment in associated charging infrastructure.
The project aims to facilitate the transition to electric buses through a combination of technical assistance; capacity building; outreach and awareness; and resource mobilization to support both the Government of Rwanda and the private sector to introduce electric buses in Rwanda.
Author : Ange de la Victoire Dusabemungu , Top Africa News