Volkswagen, in partnership with Siemens, have today unveiled an electric Volkswagen Golf dubbed e-Golf.
The vehicles launched in the presence of Prime Minister Eduoard Ngirente, are part of a pilot project, adding the fleet to the Volkswagen Mobility Solutions initiative.
While Rwanda has set facilities that assemble Volkswagen models, Germany will produce and export the electric cars to Rwanda.
However, the cars which ideally cover 230 kilometers on a full charge, will not be sold commercially at the moment. The vehicles will be under the custody of Volkwagen Rwanda for the period of the pilot.
Volkswagen Rwanda CEO Michaella Rugwizangoga confirmed that the firm is training drivers and technicians on the usage and maintenance of electric cars.
Part of this pilot project entails in-depth data collection on the performance of the cars and reception by consumers. Volkswagen Head of Sales and Marketing Nadege Gaju states that the data will inform the future roll-out of other phases of the project.
The launch follows a series of assessments on the city’s power capacity. Siemens, Rwanda Energy Group, and the city of Kigali questioned the city’s ability to support such innovations.
Consequently, the findings guarantee that Rwanda has surplus energy production, which can feed demand from electric cars. Similarly, the electric car project follows a government initiative to stimulate electricity demand, bridging the 81MW demand gap.
Moreover, Rwanda’s electric car project is part of Volkswagen’s ambitions to phase out combustion engines in the next decade.