Ethiopia Pilots Electric Vehicles

29 Mar 2013

image UNDP Ethiopia Country Director Alessandra Tisot test drives the new e-taxis

Ethiopia is piloting clean transportation by launching a project to bring electronic taxis (e-taxis) into the country.

The Ethiopian Federal Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) together with dVentus Wind Technologies PLC launched a UNDP supported Electronic Vehicles pilot Project in Ethiopia on 29 March 2013 by introducing 12 e-taxis to serve the cities of Adama, Mekele, Sekota and Debremarkos.

The e-taxis are designed to use batteries that can be charged using electrical energy. The e- taxis can cover more than 50 KM once charged.

‘This morning witnessed the prospect of the future of motorcars that run entirely on electricity in Ethiopia which contributes directly to the reduction of greenhouse gas generated by the transport sector.’ stated EPA Director General Tewelde  G/Egzhiyabher.

Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy sets out the green economy opportunities that could help Ethiopia to reach its ambitious growth targets while keeping greenhouse gas emissions low.

‘It would make economic sense to shift to electricity since we generate electricity in Ethiopia, whereas we import petroleum that costs foreign currency’ Dr. Tewlde said.  He also underlined the importance of focusing country’s industrial development dependent on electricity rather than petroleum as Ethiopia has reliable supply of renewable energy.

UNDP has partnered with EPA to promote early adaptation action and lay the foundations for long-term investment to increase resilience to climate change as part of its overall support to Ethiopia’s Green Economy.

The e- taxis have social, economic and environmental benefits to Ethiopia. These include reducing foreign currency spent for fossil fuel, as well as creating new job opportunities also allow Ethiopia to benefit from the carbon credit.  E-taxis also contribute towards the reduction of local air pollution that emanates from use of fossil fuel and contributes for the building of green economy. The social benefits include alternative ways of transportation for the society, while minimizing the health risks associated with the emission of greenhouse gas.

Speaking at the Launch, UNDP Country Director Ms. Alessandra Tisot acknowledged the contribution of all the development partners, particularly the Government of Japan, which has supported this initiative through UNDP.

Ms. Tisot said that the social benefit of the initiative cannot be underestimated and she underscored that UNDP is also interested in youth employment and unleashing of technology and innovation.

Dr. Tewelde commended UNDP for all the technical support to the development of the country’s Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy as well as for the financial grant used to procure the 12 e- taxis. 

UNDP has in the past supported the penetration of 16 green technologies in 97 Woredas  (administrative zones) of Ethiopia through the African Adaptation Program (AAP). These green technologies include: three Micro Distilleries to produce ethanol from the sugar cane; 25 Photovoltaic system for generating electricity; Jatropha machine for the production of biodiesel from Jatropha seeds; 390 improved cooking stoves; 4547 bee hives among others.

The African Adaptation Project (AAP) was initiated in 2008 by the United Nations Development Program with US$92.1 million support from the Government of Japan. The AAP was established under the Japan-UNDP Joint Framework for Building Partnership to Address Climate Change in Africa, which was founded at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in May 2008. The AAP project was formulated regionally and implemented in 20 African countries, including Ethiopia.

The Africa Adaptation Program (AAP) in Ethiopia has been implemented through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with WFP and UNICEF with the total budget of  US$ 6,482,749.