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LEAP Fund growth: supporting 7 partners to drive e-mobility in Africa and Latin America

LEAP Fund growth: supporting 7 partners to drive e-mobility in Africa and Latin America

Seven electric mobility projects selected to receive latest round of grants from the Drive Electric Campaign in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and across Latin America

SAN FRANCISCO – August 30, 2023 – Drive Electric, a global philanthropic-powered campaign to accelerate the transition to a clean transportation future, celebrated the growth and expansion of its funding in emerging economies around the world. The LEAP Fund (Leapfrogging to E-mobility Acceleration Partnership) was developed by Drive Electric and launched in 2022 to support low-carbon transitions and avoid the lock-in of fossil-fueled vehicles by investing in electric transportation technology “leapfrogging.” With a growing set of funding partners and commitments, Drive Electric has expanded the LEAP Fund with an additional $1.05 million in grants supporting an additional seven projects in Africa and Latin America.

“We see notable leadership in EV innovation, vision, and motivation in many emerging markets,” said Rebecca Fisher, director of the Drive Electric Campaign. “We believe that philanthropic investment can help build political will, drive public and private finance to the sector, and support green industrial development by shifting the market toward clean transportation on an accelerated timeline to meet global climate goals.”

The LEAP Fund is motivated by a desire to support opportunities for acceleration that arise in emerging economies that want to lead, contributing to a fair and equitable transition to decarbonize mobility for all. EV sales are shattering records in leading markets like China, Europe, and the U.S., and this is essential for meeting global climate targets. Yet given projected population growth, the majority of vehicle demand will occur outside those major markets – notably in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Now is a critical moment to invest in communities who are ready to jumpstart the EV transition and experience the benefits of clean transportation.

The LEAP Fund supports groups headquartered in emerging economies advancing access to clean transportation. Drive Electric has expanded the fund from an initial one-year investment of $1 million to a total of more than $3 million in commitments from 2022-2024. Seven organizations have been awarded funding as part of this second round of the LEAP Fund. The LEAP Fund is currently accepting applications for a third phase to continue supporting the field. 

“Shifting to electric vehicles aligns with South Africa’s National Green Transport Strategy, and presents an economic opportunity for the automotive sector” said Hiten Parmar of the Electric Mission, based in Johannesburg. “With support from the LEAP Fund we aim to expand wider collaborations for the e-mobility ecosystem here which will be influential to supporting the ambition for zero-emission transportation.”

The 2023 LEAP Fund grantees include:

Drive Electric partners have contributed to world-changing progress in the acceleration of electric transportation. At the start of 2023, the Campaign announced an exciting milestone: more than 15% of new car sales are now electric vehicles in leading markets, reaching an ambitious and strategic target four years ahead of previous predictions. Yet without further action, analysis from BloombergNEF predicts a growing gap between the electric vehicle adoption rate in leading and emerging markets. The LEAP Fund engages regional and in-country experts on clean mobility, with awarded projects spanning all road transportation modes, including passenger vehicles, two- and three-wheelers, and medium- and heavy-duty freight. These projects aim to accelerate uptake and create enabling conditions for electrification through pilots and infrastructure, policy development, advocacy, learning networks, and research.

“Here in Costa Rica, electric cars account for 11% of new sales, and people aren’t waiting for EVs to arrive, they’re seeking out options because the demand for zero-emission transportation is high” said Silvia Rojas, Executive Director of the Costa Rican Association of Electric Mobility (ASOMOVE). “With support from the Drive Electric Campaign LEAP Fund, we seek to open up new policy pathways to accelerate e-mobility across fleets like taxis and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.”

The LEAP Fund is part of Drive Electric’s efforts to ensure that an accelerated transition to clean transportation is truly global. Based on learning from the inaugural funding process, the Drive Electric Campaign, hosted by ClimateWorks Foundation, updated the 2023 application process to further streamline the application form, clarify the goals of the fund, and increase the funding limit per project. To support the LEAP Fund, the Drive Electric Campaign is working with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors as a fiduciary partner.

About the Drive Electric Campaign

Powered by philanthropy, the Drive Electric Campaign is a growing global coalition of more than 100 partners from climate foundations, research institutions and civil society organizations that is accelerating 100% clean, zero emission electric road vehicles of all kinds, from two- and three- wheelers to cars, buses, and trucks. Drive Electric partners work in over 65 countries to support smart government policies, business engagement, and people-powered coalitions to achieve a clean transportation future. Learn more at

Published August 30, 2023

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