Volkswagen brings electric cars to Rwanda for ride-hailing service

With the hopes of increasing its market share globally, Volkswagen is using its electric-powered versions of the Golf hatchback car to penetrate Africa starting with Rwanda. The e-Golf which is part of a joint development agreement between Volkswagen and Siemens to conduct the electric mobility feasibility project will be used for a local ride-hailing service in the country.

The pilot project will include four e-Golfs and one charging station, Volkswagen Group South Africa CEO Thomas Schäfer announced on Tuesday. He said the plan was to make the e-Golf pilot project in Rwanda a blueprint for electric mobility in Africa.

“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,” Schäfer said.

“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,” he added. Meanwhile, Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa CEO Sabine Dall’Omo stated that “Our partnership with Volkswagen on this project solidifies our commitment not only to Rwanda but to the East Africa region.

Volkswagen which has been investing more than $30 billion into new electric vehicles and platforms has a global target of producing 600,000 electric cars a year by 2022. The company plans is to increase the number of electric cars to 50 units and 15 charging stations, depending on the outcomes of the pilot project.

Presently the drivers and technicians who will be working with the electric cars have received specialised training in preparation for the launch of the pilot project.