Eco Car Solaire

Making the icon of Dakar

sustainable and environmentally friendly!

The Project

By using innovative and climate-friendly technologies, Eco Car Solaire aims at converting Dakar’s famous icons – the artistically painted ‘cars rapides’ – into a solar-powered, environmentally friendly means of transportation, as well as save the jobs that depend on them.

The main focus is on sustainable urban mobility for all. EcoCar Solaire sees itself as a beacon for an environmental sound modern African city. With a socially just and climate-friendly transformation of the lively metropolis, public transportation should become climate-neutral and accessible to all population sections.

The Solution

The solution proposed by Eco Car Solaire, a project initiated by mandu|architexture & urbanizm, is to convert the cars rapides into solar-powered vehicles. A conversion kit developed in collaboration with the Swiss institute Ökozentrum, a pioneer in the area of e-mobility, will enable local mechanics to convert the cars rapides into cars solaires.

 

Together with Senegalese solar companies and the CETUD, the Executive Council of Public Transport of Dakar, EcoCar Solaire will build up a network of solar-power stations where the new minibuses can recharge their batteries. Operationally, the cars solaires will be managed by a cooperative formed by the association of car rapide bus drivers, which will also ensure the knowledge transfer.

Benefits of the Cars Solaires

100% renewable solar power

0% air pollution 0% CO2

no adverse health effects on inhabitants, users and drivers

30,000 secured jobs in the informal sector

strengthening of the local economy

knowledge transfer and creation of new jobs

recycling and use of existing resources

low-tech, low-cost and easily expanded solution

maintaining the cultural heritage and tourism icon of Senegal

Get Involved

In order to fully convince the Senegalese government and investors of the benefits of the Eco Car Solaire, we want to build one or two pilot buses at the Ökozentrum in Switzerland and then drive the car solaire from Zurich to Dakar in a test trip.

Part of the necessary funding is already secured thanks to our financial partners. By launching a crowdfunding campaign we want to raise the remaining capital needed for this pilot phase.

We are running out of time. The Senegalese government has begun to scrap the robust cars rapides, maintained by a large network of skilled mechanics, in order to pave the way for an official, diesel-powered bus transportation system.

If we act fast, we can salvage the remaining cars rapides, convert them into cars solaires and secure the 30,000 jobs linked to them. For this, we need your help!

Support our crowdfunding campaign and help us build one or two car solaire pilot buses! By doing so, you will make a positive contribution to climate protection and strengthen local economic structures in Dakar.

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Background

The public bus networks of many African cities, which have the highest urbanisation rate globally at 4.87% per year, are barely functioning (in Dakar only 7%).

Moreover, the official public bus networks cannot be used in the informal neighbourhoods with narrow and often poorly maintained roads. Gradually minibuses stepped into this breach and now provide most public transport (Dakar: 60%).

At the same time, these minibuses contribute to a significant part of the air and climate pollution. The latest air pollution figures in Dakar are alarming.

For several decades, the cars rapides have provided the largest and especially the poorest part of Dakar’s urban population with an opportunity for urban mobility and therefore secured many jobs.

80% of Dakar’s citizens depend on low-cost public transport to connect the city centre with the neighbourhoods on the periphery, passing narrow and often poorly maintained streets of the informal neighbourhoods (“slums”).

However, that is to end now. The Senegalese government wants to replace the robust cars rapides with a new formal diesel-powered bus system. Unfortunately, this will mean the loss of about 30,000 jobs and the know-how of operators, drivers and repair shops, as well as the image that characterises Dakar.

This is where EcoCar Solaire steps in by transforming the old cars rapides into modern, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective cars solaires accessible to all sections of the population.

From Zurich to Dakar

Do you wish to support our project?

Would you like to participate in a prize draw and win a free seat in the first car solaire test trip from Zurich to Dakar?

Partner & Organisationen

Team

Mandu dos Santos Pinto

Mandu dos Santos Pinto

mandu|architexture & urbanizm

Initiator, Coordination and Project Development 

Carmela Ahokas Houben

Carmela Ahokas Houben

mandu|architexture & urbanizm

Communication

Mario Vögeli

Mario Vögeli

Ökozentrum

E-mobility

Joy Frempong

Joy Frempong

Museke association

Knowledge Transfer

Edouard Diatta

Edouard Diatta

mandu|architexture & urbanizm

Participatory Processes

Donato Ponzio

Donato Ponzio

Museke association

Administration and Finances

Daniel Habte

Daniel Habte

Museke association

 Legal

Rosanna Burelli

Rosanna Burelli

mandu|architexture & urbanizm

Organisation and Social Media

Contact

ecocar@museke.ch
Eco Car Solaire / Museke Verein
Erlachstrasse 36, 8003 Zürich

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