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Rwanda relies on electric motorcycles to reduce emissions

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When Evode Niyorurema turned his fuel-hungry motorcycle taxi into an electric motorcycle taxi, he didn’t know he was a pioneer in the fight against climate change in Rwanda.

“The reason I switched to an electric motorcycle is because I wanted to avoid the cost of fuel, which always goes up, and also the cost of going to the workshop all the time (for maintenance) “the 37-year-old man told AFP. .

The company responsible for renovating your vehicle, Rwanda Electric Motors Ltd, has so far transformed around 80 motorcycle taxis, the most popular form of public transport in Kigali, and developed another 200 brand new electric motorcycles.

The project, funded by the Rwandan government and the United Nations Development Program, is part of an ambitious national initiative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 16% by 2030 and an additional 38% over the course of the following decade.

In July, the government lifted import taxes on electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as on equipment used in charging stations, hoping to accelerate Rwanda’s transition from fuel-based transport and “reduce carbon emissions. greenhouse gas “.

Rwanda Electric Motors CEO Donald Kabanda told AFP his proposal to drivers was based on the long-term profitability of electric vehicles.

“An electric battery can travel up to 60 kilometers and costs 900 Rwandan francs (87 cents) against a liter of gasoline which costs around 1,000 Rwandan francs and covers only 35 kilometers,” he said.

Besides his business, two Kigali-based companies, Ampersand and Safi Moto, also assemble electric motorcycles in the country, while German giant Volkswagen started importing electric vehicles in October 2019.

– Little demand –

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