Volkswagen brings electric cars to Rwanda for ride-hailing service

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Volkswagen is importing a batch of electric powered Golf models into Rwanda for a local ride-hailing service, establishing a bridgehead in the country that it hopes to expand to other nations as it seeks to increase market share globally.

Importing the vehicles into Rwanda, which sells itself to foreign investors on its reliable infrastructure, stability and relative ease of doing business, and where VW already assembles cars, is initially intended to test infrastructure and performance in the region’s climate.

“We’ve been investing more than $30 billion into new electric vehicles and platforms and the entire world is moving in that direction,” VW’s Africa boss Thomas Schaefer told Reuters. “The plan for Africa is that ultimately, we replace the whole fleet into electric.”

VW, which has a global target of producing 600,000 electric cars a year by 2022, is starting small in Kigali, importing 50 eGolf models in the first few months.

The vehicles – combustion-engine cars modified to run on electricity – will be integrated into the company’s app-driven “Move” service, launched last December.

German power equipment firm Siemens (SIEGn.DE) will build 15 charging stations in Kigali.

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