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Innovative Electric Mobility Solutions for Rural Africa


Sustainable mobility
01/04/2019

By ENGIE Power Corner

closure date
30/05/2019

ENGIE Power Corner, from the ENGIE Africa Business Unit, is launching a call for projects to identify partners and test electrical mobility solutions for its users of mini-grids in rural areas of Africa.


This call for projects aims to identify companies producing electric vehicles adapted to Africa and to test these vehicles with villagers in Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda.


We are particularly looking for two types of vehicles:

  • Electric motorcycles able of going anywhere (more details below)
  • Electric motors for boats using batteries

This call for projects does not exclude other electrical mobility solutions as long as they are adapted to the African rurality and its constraints.


Deadline for submission: May 30, 2019


Earnings and benefits for selected projects:

  • Funding a POC: The winner will be able to test his product with PowerCorner customers in the villages over a period of 12 months.
  • Based on the results of the POC, integration with Power Corner's commercial offer

Please follow the submission canvas (below) and answer the different questions. You can upload an xls file and pictures. 


Detailed description:

ENGIE PowerCorner is ENGIE's initiative for rural electrification of Africa at the village level. It involves installing and operating small solar power + batteries and connecting the inhabitants of the villages via a distribution network in AC.

ENGIE PowerCorner is in scale up phase with 13 mini-grids in operation in Tanzania and Zambia and willoperate a portfolio of 35 mini grids by 2020 with access to nearly 10,000 customers.


In rural Africa, transport needs are numerous and yet people do not have access to flexible and affordable means of transport. As a result, apart from a very small minority who use motorcycles and motor cars whose operating costs are very expensive (since gasoline is the same price as in Europe), most of the inhabitants of rural areas of Africa, more than a billion people by 2025, walk, bike or use public transport, which are infrequent, dangerous and uncomfortable.


What are we looking for?

100% of the African population will have access to electricity by 2030, electric vehicles are a "game changer" since their operating cost per km is much lower than that of a thermal vehicle (2 to 7 times cheaper according to electricity rates).

However, the global market for electric vehicles, on the suppliers' side, is barely emerging and most of the world's supply is limited to city vehicles or to developed countries. There is therefore a supply gap for the rural areas of Africa that this call for projects tries to fill by identifying manufacturers capable of providing vehicles:

  • 2 wheels in priority,
  • Capable of riding on any type of surface (earth, pebble, sand ...)
  • Robust and capable of carrying more than 150 kg of total load - with the ability to hang goods
  • Easy to repair
  • With an autonomy of more than 150 km
  • Able to reach the classic speeds of thermal vehicles (> 100km / h)
  • With an easily changeable battery (for battery swapping system)
  • Attractive 
  • Affordable (<1500 EUR for the purchase)


Electric motor solutions with boat using batteries are also being sought for this call for tender. These should be:

  • able to be installed on monohull fishing boats with a length of about 6m
  • of equivalent power or more than 15HP
  • with the greatest possible autonomy
  • with a storage solution adapted to aquatic conditions


This call for projects is launched to identify and create partnerships with companies able to provide affordable electric vehicles whowant to test their products directly on the market of rural Africa.


Eligibility and selection criteria:

  • Adequacy with the subject: relevance to technical and commercial specificities
  • Maturity of the project / solution: the solution must exist physically at the time of application. Projects at the concept stage will not be selected
  • Energy efficiency: Wh / km and vehicle range
  • Project capacity to be rapidly launched: must be market tested by the second half of 2019
  • Value for money solution: the cost of vehicles must be affordable for the rural market of Africa (<1500 €)
  • Ease of implementation
  • Development potential: the industrialist must be able to quickly industrialize the product if the PoC is a success.

Please follow the submission canvas (below) and answer the different questions. You can upload an xls file and pictures. 


Selection procedure and provisional timetable:

  • Launch of the call for projects: April 1st, 2019
  • Deadline for submission of applications: May 30th, 2019
  • Analysis and selection of the finalist files: June 7th, 2019
  • Presentation pitch of the finalists in front of the jury with the aim of better understanding the projects and facilitating the selection of the winners: from 17 to 21 June, during a dedicated event organized during the ENGIE Innovation Week
  • Final and announcement of the winners: July - August 2019

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