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Rwanda joins e-mobility race with BasiGo electric buses

BasiGo partners with AC Mobility  to  bring Electric Buses to Rwanda.
BasiGo partners with AC Mobility to bring Electric Buses to Rwanda.

A new partnership between with Kenya’s BasiGo and AC Mobility is set to roll out electric buses in Kigali, Rwanda.

Electric bus manufacturer, BasiGo announced, yesterday, it had joined forces with AC Mobility – provider of automated fare collection systems for public transport – to bring electric buses to Rwanda.

Founded in 2021, BasiGo has led the introduction of electric buses in Nairobi’s public transport fleet.

BasiGo has sold 19 electric buses to public transport operators in Nairobi and has secured reservations for over 100 additional vehicles.

With the AC Mobility partnership, BasiGo will deliver electric buses to Kigali transport operators in October, through a ‘pay-as-you-drive’ financing model.

The announcement of electric buses coming to Rwanda adds to quickening e-mobility wave in East Africa.

Rwanda’s government recently announced its plans to rapidly scale up Kigali’s public transport fleet, while aiming to convert 20% of the public bus fleet to be electric, by 2030.

Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda are also making massive moves in e-mobility as companies assembling and importing electric vehicles are descending on the region.

This week, President of Kenya, William Ruto, officially opened Roam Park, East Africa's largest electric motorcycle assembly plant.

Roam’s 10,000 square metre facility is the largest electric motorcycle assembly plant in East Africa, with an annual production capacity of 50,000 units that the company says will be reached in a few years.

Jit Bhattacharya, BasiGo CEO and co-founder, believes Rwanda has led the way in creating an enabling ecosystem for e-mobility.

Bhattacharya said partnering with AC Mobility will accelerate the transition to electrified public transport in Rwanda.

He said: “Electric buses will be more cost-effective for operators while also dramatically reducing air pollution and CO2 emissions. Through our pay-as-you-drive model, we are excited to bring a complete e-bus solution, to make electric buses accessible and convenient for all bus operators in Rwanda.”

Clare Akamanzi, chief executive officer of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said, in line with her organisation’s mandate to fast-track private-sector economic development, the partnership to bring electric bus technology to Kigali is welcome.

She added: “This partnership of public transport technology providers in the region will accelerate decarbonisation of the sector in Rwanda, while also alleviating the current public transport shortage. RDB is intentional in supporting this investment and growing a thriving market for electric mobility solutions in Rwanda.”

Jones Kizihira, CEO of AC Mobility Rwanda, commented: “The country has recorded rapid transformation, creating a need for a more robust and cost-effective public transport system.

“The electric buses will help ease the cost burden of public bus transporters and advance Rwanda’s transition to clean mobility. We look forward to leveraging BasiGo’s experience and network to build a strong electric bus business in Rwanda.”

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