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Rwandan residents and experts said the introduction of electric buses would boost the country's efforts to advance smart mobility systems to facilitate the sustainability of the economy.
Kigali city authorities, in collaboration with BasiGo, a Kenya-based company, have launched the pilot project of electric buses in public transport, following a similar trial with minibuses in the city.
When fully charged, the bus can travel 300 kilometers, with charging points installed in Kigali's Kicukiro district.
The goal is to introduce 200 buses on the streets of Kigali within 18 months, each with a capacity to carry 70 passengers, according to officials.
Rwandan residents and experts said the introduction of the electric buses would boost the country's efforts to advance smart mobility systems to facilitate sustainability in the economy.
"I'm excited about the introduction of electric buses. In terms of environment protection, it was long overdue. I hope that a rollout of electric cars will reduce pollution," one passenger, who gave his name only as Hirwa, said in an official statement, adding that the bus is comfortable and reduces travel time by about a half.
In July, the Rwandan government signed a deal with Vivo Energy company to introduce more than 200 electric buses to the country.
Innocent Umuhoza, who has been working as a professional driver for 18 years, was operating a brand-new electric bus from downtown Kigali to Remera Park along the airport road. "Old, combustion-engine buses can be a menace as they produce a lot of dangerous fumes which affect our environment."
The electric bus he now drives, by comparison, consumes electricity worth 40,000 Rwandan francs (about 31 dollars) from downtown Kigali to Remera, saving about 120,000 Rwandan francs of the money previously spent on fuel, according to Umuhoza.
Rwanda has abolished import taxes on electric vehicles and hybrids that utilize both electricity and petroleum products, including electric motorcycles, to encourage their adoption and contribute to a greener, cleaner future.
Paul Kagame, President of #Rwanda ���� , at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, said a debt crisis that constrains developing countries. pic.twitter.com/fcJhfKoaW0