Rwanda mulls electric public buses to cut carbon emissions

Rwanda has said it is investing in transitioning from internal combustion engine buses to electric buses, a move expected to cement her ambition of curbing pollutant emissions from road traffic, local publication The New Times reported.

The report said that the government is looking to incentivise investors by reducing electric tariff for charging stations to the industrial tariff level, while electric vehicle parts, batteries and charging equipment are also exempted from import and excise duties.

According to Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), carbon dioxide emissions from road transport account for 13 percent of the total emissions in Rwanda and the trajectory is expected to continue to rise.

Buses comprise only 15 percent of the total vehicles in Rwanda but contribute approximately 40 percent of the total emissions from the transport sector.

“In general, the e-mobility programme will contribute to an estimated reduction of 0.002 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030,” Pearl Nkusi, Climate Actions Transparency Sector Specialist at REMA, told The New Times in an exclusive interview, adding, “the mitigation potential of e-buses alone is yet to be estimated.”

Nkusi said that the move also comes at a time when pollutant emissions from road traffic have also increased significantly in the City of Kigali leading to concerns about poor air quality.

Nkusi also said that these statistics increase the importance of transitioning to e-mobility as planned in the national climate action plan.

Electric buses are a new alternative to more traditional buses, but they are becoming a popular option for cities, and private transportation companies that want to take advantage of the technology.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, at the end of 2017, there were 3 million city buses in operation worldwide; of these, 385,000 belong to the category of electric buses.


Original article published by The New Times Rwanda