A Pay-as-you-go Electric Truck Makes Deliveries for Rwanda’s Small-scale Farmers Easier

The rolling hills of Rwanda produce great endurance cyclists, some are able to traverse mountainous terrain with 100 kilograms of fruit on their heads and shoulders. But British-Rwandan delivery startup OX Delivers is looking to change that through its electric OX Trucks, which are designed to negotiate dirt roads while carrying up to two tons of goods — roughly 20 times a cyclist’s capacity. The truck was designed by former Formula One engineer Gordon Murray in 2016, commissioned by a non-profit called the Global Vehicle Trust, which wanted a vehicle that could help provide essential deliveries in developing countries.

The Global Vehicle Trust launched OX Delivers in 2020 and although it’s headquartered in Warwickshire, England, the company describes it as an African-led operation. Rather than selling the vehicles, it rents out delivery space on the trucks, mostly to smallholder farmers and small-scale traders. The company says it keeps down its costs by owning and streamlining every stage of the supply chain. Its parts, for example, are flown from Britain to Rwanda in flat-pack form, allowing materials for six vehicles to fit into a shipping container that would normally carry just two whole trucks. OX says the truck can be assembled by three “skilled (but not necessarily expert)” people in 12 hours, using an image-based, IKEA-like guide. Davis says that running on electricity costs 50% less per day than diesel engines. The trucks have a range of 170 kilometers and the company has installed private charging depots — where they can take up to six hours to completely recharge — to make up for a lack of public charging infrastructure in Rwanda.


You might be interested in