The transport sector accounted for 13% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Rwanda in 2015. More than a quarter of these emissions were estimated to come from motorcycles - the dominant mode of transport in the country and its capital, Kigali. In absolute numbers, in 2019 there were 30,000 motorcycles within a 12km radius of Kigali, and 110,000 motorcycles on Rwandan roads in total. The majority of these motorcycles serve as motorcycle taxis (‘motos’ or ‘bodas’), representing a growing segment as an affordable, cheap and versatile mode of public transportation. However, besides an increase in GHG emissions, the growing number of motos leads to high levels of air pollution and a constantly growing demand for fuel.
Tapping into the Rwandan government’s ambition to electrify and decarbonise public transport, the NSP aims to catalyse the deployment of e-motorcycles by effectively substituting motos with e-motos in Kigali, thereby decarbonising the most popular and affordable means of public transportation in the city.
The growing ecosystem of local e-moto manufacturers, and government’s efforts to facilitate the corresponding infrastructural development (e.g. land for and access to charging and swapping stations) create favourable conditions for the NSP’s intervention. At the same time, barriers such as lacking asset financing for e-moto drivers, lacking inventory financing for e-moto manufacturers, regulatory uncertainties and gaps in technical standards, limited availability of charging / swapping stations, and limited awareness of low-carbon mobility solutions across different groups of stakeholders still hinder motos’ electrification at scale. To overcome these barriers, the NSP will utilise both financial and technical cooperation components to stimulate demand for e-motos and help local manufacturers to scale up their productive capacities, while ensuring that robust framework conditions are in place.
As a direct effect of the intervention, the NSP aims to support deployment of more than 39,000 e-motos in Kigali within the NSP’s implementation period, and in the following 10 years. It is expected that it will result in GHG emission reductions of approx. 700,000 to 1,000,000 tCO2e. Beyond that, i the NAMA Facility funding is planned to be recycled to support the Rwandan government in procuring e-buses, stimulating further decarbonisation of the public transport system in the country.
As part of its technical interventions, the NSP will strive to establish the role e-motos can play within the broader electric public transport system as an accessible and affordable last-mile solution. The lifecycle impacts of both traditional motos and e-motos will also be taken into account to ensure that used vehicles, including batteries, are collected, recycled and/or disposed of properly. Last but not least, the emerging regional manufacturing hub for electric vehicles providing employment opportunities for men and women in East Africa will be given new stimuli for expansion.