The British company Ox Delivers offers a car-sharing service for electric trucks that you can assemble yourself. In concrete terms: the individual parts are produced in England and can be assembled in the destination country of Rwanda.

Transporting goods through Germany is no longer a big problem. Motorways, for example, make it possible to ship goods by truck. The rail network in this country also offers an alternative. But that is not the case everywhere. One example is the rural areas of Rwanda.

Even delivering food to the market is a major challenge for many farmers there. Traditionally, they transport hundreds of kilograms of potatoes or bananas on bicycles over steep hills and in hot weather. Only large farms can afford diesel trucks.

But since most of these vehicles are second-hand and are reaching the end of their life, breakdowns on unpaved roads are not uncommon. This inefficient practice means that farmers earn less and sometimes have to throw away high-quality food. However, a change in thinking is emerging. Some farmers now have the option of booking electric trucks that are assembled on site.

Ox Delivers ships parts for delivery services in Rwanda

The start-up Ox Delivers, based in the UK and Rwanda, is expanding its fleet with electric vehicles. The vehicles, which were specially designed for the African market, are very cost-effective to operate and maintain and are therefore suitable for a service model.

The first prototype in 2016 was based on a diesel engine. A few versions later, however, the company switched to an electric model. Ox Delivers manufactures the trucks in Great Britain and ships the individual parts to Rwanda.

There, local companies only have to assemble the vehicles. These are robust enough to drive on unpaved roads and in bad weather and can transport up to two tons of cargo over 100 miles. The trucks charge at night. Thanks to funding, Ox Delivers wants to expand the necessary charging infrastructure in the next step.

Delivery by truck should not be more expensive than by bicycle

Farmers and small businesses in Rwanda often lack sufficient financial resources, so customers simply book a seat on the electric truck via an app or a phone call and pay roughly the same as it would cost to make a delivery by bike.

The company initially tested the pay-as-you-go service with used diesel trucks. In the next step, Ox Delivers plans to expand the fleet of electric vehicles to 100. The diesel trucks will then be phased out. For customers, the delivery service can fundamentally change the way they work. For example, one owner of a small shop used to need several days to restock bananas.

The new service eliminates this effort. According to Ox Delivers, some customers who previously delivered potatoes twice a week by bike have seen their income increase tenfold. At the same time, customers benefit, because fast, inexpensive transport can also help reduce the cost of food at the market.

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