EcoCar Solaire aims to transform Dakar’s fossil-fueled minibuses into solar-powered buses using innovative technology and a participatory approach to reduce air pollution, empower local artisans and ensure urban mobility for the lower-income population.
For several decades, the cars rapids have provided the largest and especially the low-income part of Dakar’s urban population with an opportunity for urban mobility, thus securing many jobs. However, many African cities’ bus networks, which have the highest urbanization rate in the world, are barely functioning. In addition, the official public bus networks cannot be used in the informal neighbourhoods with narrow and often poorly maintained roads. Minibuses have gradually stepped into this breach and, providing collective taxi services that now account for most public transport (Dakar: 60%). At the same time, these minibuses contribute to an essential part of air and climate pollution. The latest air pollution readings in Dakar are alarming.
Here is where the EcoCar Solaire project comes in, developing sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective means of public transport accessible to all population sections.