More than 60 percent of the nearly 900,000 residents of Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, will now be able to enjoy environmentally friendlier and safer taxi rides thanks to the introduction of electric taxis, a project supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The EBRD Resident Office in Dushanbe says the latest project under the EBRD Green Cities program for Dushanbe will help reduce the environmental impact of the Sayohon taxi company, which operates the popular brand Rakhsh Taxi.

A financial package of up to US$4.5 million, mobilized by the EBRD and consisting of an EBRD loan and a grant from the Bank’s Finance and Technology Transfer Center for Climate Change (FINTECC) program supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), will allow Sayohon to procure 100 electric vehicles and 30 charging stations as well as to create the necessary charging infrastructure.

Sayohon will not only expand its service but will also reduce CO2 emissions by 1,240 tons per year.  The replacement of dated internal combustion engines with electric ones will also allow Rakhsh Taxi to cut emissions of other pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide hat can cause severe respiratory problems.

As part of the project, Sayohon will commit to developing and implementing inclusive employment practices.  In particular, it will help increase the number of women employees to at least 20 percent of the total workforce and launch a specialized training program for 250 employees on the management of electric vehicles.

Funded by the EBRD and GEF, FINTECC is part of a global drive towards climate technology transfer for developing economies.

EBRD Green Cities is supporting the development and implementation of Dushanbe’s Green City Action Plan (GCAP), a crucial tool to help the city set out its sustainable development vision and strategic objectives, in addition to the actions and investments required to address high-priority environmental issues.

To-date, the EBRD has invested €892 million through 152 projects in Tajikistan’s economy.