First for Africa: Volkswagen and Siemens launch joint electric mobility pilot project in Rwanda
October 29, 2019
Pilot Project part of Moving Rwanda Initiative
KIGALI, Rwanda, October 29, 2019/ — Rwanda becomes the first African country to introduce Volkswagen electric car; Volkswagen (http://Volkswagen.com/) and Siemens (www.Siemens.com) sign joint development agreement to conduct electric mobility feasibility project; Pilot Project part of Moving Rwanda Initiative; Four e-Golfs and one charging station for the initial phase of the pilot project; e-Golfs added into the Volkswagen Mobility Solutions fleet
In a first for the African continent, the Volkswagen Brand has launched a pilot project in partnership with Siemens 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 today 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 the Republic 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.
Thomas Schäfer said: “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. 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.
“Africa’s youth need sustainable jobs and better prospects for a future in their home countries. Therefore, German development cooperation supports innovative ideas for vocational education and environmentally friendly mobility concepts for African cities. In this respect, initiatives such as Moving Rwanda are yet another step towards implementing the Marshall Plan with Africa,” said Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.
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.
Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda offers mobility solutions services such as ride-hailing and corporate car sharing. The services are offered on the Move App, an innovative IT mobility solution which was developed by a local IT start-up company, Awesomity Lab.
The services are offered using a fleet of vehicles assembled at Volkswagen Rwanda’s assembly facility in Kigali. By the end of 2019, Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda will have a fleet of more than 200 vehicles consisting of Polo, Amarok, Teramont and Passat.
Move App has about 27 000 registered users. Over 59 500 rides have been completed in the ride-hailing service since the beginning of 2019.
Thomas Schäfer commented: “The integrated mobility solutions business in Rwanda is our lighthouse project. In the past year, our operations in Kigali have provided us with valuable lessons and business intelligence which we plan to utilise in our growth strategy into other African markets like Ghana and Ethiopia.”
Sub-Sahara Africa expansion strategy gaining momentum
Africa is the last frontier for the automotive industry. Volkswagen’s long term goal is to play a leading and pioneering role in the development of the automotive industry in the continent. As such, Volkswagen has significantly expanded its engagement in Africa with the establishment of assembly facilities and marketing activities in Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria. Ghana and Ethiopia are planned as the next locations.
About the Volkswagen brand:
Volkswagen (http://Volkswagen.com/) Passenger Cars operates in more than 150 markets worldwide and produces vehicles at more than 50 sites in 14 countries. In 2018, Volkswagen delivered close to 6.2 million vehicles. Among those were the best-selling Golf, Tiguan, Jetta and Passat. Volkswagen has a current workforce of 195,878 employees around the globe. Added to this are more than 10,000 dealerships with 86,000 employees. Volkswagen is consistently driving forward the development of automotive engineering. Electric mobility, smart mobility and the digital transformation of the brand are the key strategic topics for the future.
Siemens (www.siemens.com) Smart Infrastructure (SI) is shaping the market for intelligent, adaptive infrastructure for today and the future. It addresses the pressing challenges of urbanization and climate change by connecting energy systems, buildings and industries. SI provides customers with a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio from a single source – with products, systems, solutions and services from the point of power generation all the way to consumption. With an increasingly digitalized ecosystem, it helps customers thrive and communities progress while contributing toward protecting the planet. SI creates environments that care. Siemens Smart Infrastructure has its global headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, and has around 71,000 employees worldwide.
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. The company is active around the globe, focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed company Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. In fiscal 2018, which ended on September 30, 2018, Siemens generated revenue of €83.0 billion and net income of €6.1 billion. At the end of September 2018, the company had around 379,000 employees worldwide.
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