Go Green Transport,’ an e-mobility company in Rwanda, has initiated a pilot phase with the introduction of 10 full electric mini-buses, each with a capacity of 23 seats.
These eco-friendly buses have begun operating on various routes, namely: Nyanza-Downtown, Remera-Downtown, and Downtown-Nyabugogo.
Drivers and passengers expressed their positive experiences with the new electric buses.
Gaga Cyiza, a bus driver, said he had operated various public transport vehicles before but the new electric bus one stands out for its efficiency, adding that it comfortably accommodates 22 passengers. He also added that the Rwf500 fare is a small price to pay for the level of comfort it offers.
“The seats are quite comfortable, and passengers haven’t voiced any complaints. In fact, passengers who have experienced this bus once are eager to choose it again. It’s like taking a motorcycle; passengers board quickly, and we reach our destination promptly,” he said.
Jonathan Munyemanzi, a passenger who recently traveled on one of the new electric buses to Nyanza, where he resides, shared his thoughts: “Honestly, there was a conventional open bus available, and then there was this electric one, and I opted for the electric bus even though it’s Rwf230 more expensive than my usual fare. Why? It’s quite simple, really. This electric bus fills up quickly, and I noticed the comfortable seats. If these buses were to become the new norm, I wouldn’t have any complaints.”
Tsega Solomon, Operations Manager at Green Go Transport said Go Green Transport is an East African-based company that prioritizes green technology in collaboration with its sister company, KasAutos, the producer of these 100 percent electric vehicles.
Go Green primarily operates as a service provider in public transport, with a focus on rentals.
Electric vehicles are known for their eco-friendliness and lower maintenance costs, which benefit the public, government, and business owners, the Green Go Transport official said.
“This shift has unlocked unprecedented opportunities, it has led to the creation of numerous direct and indirect job opportunities and is a preferable alternative to importing fuel, which consumes billions in foreign currency. Moreover, the operational cost of an electric vehicle is 40 percent less than that of petroleum vehicles. The government has been highly supportive, offering tax exemptions, public taxi licenses, and skilled manpower in Rwanda,” Solomon said.
She further revealed that the primary challenge lies in charging station infrastructure, which currently operates with low efficiency. New Times noted.
“We aspire to collaborate with the government to address this issue. As a company engaged in selling electric vehicles of various sizes, we have plans to install charging stations in Kigali and other selected areas of Rwanda, along with after-sale services,” she added.
In July, the government of Rwanda and Vivo Energy signed a deal to introduce more than 200 electric buses to the country, but are yet to arrive. This marks the first time full electric vehicles are being used in Rwanda’s public transport system.