Sustainable Mobility for the World’s Poorest People

Dr. Chris Borroni-Bird, Vice President, Strategic Development Qualcomm

Mobility improves quality of life by providing access to people, places and experiences. It also enables economic advancement by providing access to goods and markets. These are considered self-evident truths here in the developed world but can mobility also transform quality of life and economic development for the world’s poorest people, such as rural Africans?
Imagine a solar-powered EV service that is operated and maintained by a village entrepreneur. This could address the need for many women to individually walk to collect wood from the forest (or to collect water from a well) and provide time for education or to make goods that generate income. High insolation loads in Africa can permit a low speed, lightweight vehicle to travel daily between adjacent villages. This could facilitate access to fertilizer distribution centers, to markets for crops and crafts, and to healthcare that may not exist in the village. The business is funded from users as it enables them to sell their goods. It may also be financed by government education subsidies for women and children. When not providing mobility, it could be the village’s power source for pumping water, grinding grain and charging cellphones.

Read More