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LEAP Fund: supporting 10 partners to mobilize e-mobility in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

LEAP Fund: supporting 10 partners to mobilize e-mobility in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Ten electric mobility projects selected to receive grants from the Drive Electric Campaign in Brazil, Burundi, Chile, Colombia, Kenya, Nigeria, Paraguay, The Philippines, South Africa, and Uganda

SAN FRANCISCO – November 15, 2022 – Drive Electric, a global philanthropic-powered campaign to accelerate the transition to a clean transportation future, announced the launch of a fund to advance transportation electrification in emerging economies around the world. The LEAP Fund (Leapfrogging to E-mobility Acceleration Partnership) is a new effort from Drive Electric to support low-carbon transitions and avoid the lock-in of fossil-fueled vehicles by investing in electric transportation technology “leapfrogging.” As part of the fund’s first phase, 10 projects in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia received funding totaling $1 million in grants.

“Every community deserves clean air, and zero-emission vehicles are the future of transportation,” said Rebecca Fisher, director of the Drive Electric Campaign. “Our LEAP Fund provides catalytic funding to organizations in emerging markets to support increased access to electric transportation and all its benefits as economies develop instead of locking in carbon emissions and polluting technologies.”

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. Developing and emerging economies are working to ramp up EV deployment but need additional investment to support infrastructure development and reduce upfront costs. Philanthropic resources can support country-led efforts in EV adoption and unlock private and public investment for accelerated action. 

The LEAP Fund supports groups headquartered in emerging economies advancing access to clean transportation. Drive Electric partners seeded the fund with an initial investment of $1 million and selected 10 organizations to receive the funds. The projects span all road transportation modes, including passenger vehicles, two- and three-wheelers, public transportation, and medium- and heavy-duty freight. These projects aim to accelerate uptake and create enabling conditions for electrification through  pilots, policy development, advocacy, learning networks, and research.

“E-mobility has the potential to improve the air quality of cities in South Africa, while contributing to the momentum to shift to renewable energy” said Lusanda Madikizela, Senior Programme Manager, E-Bus Mission at C40 Cities South Africa, a LEAP Fund participant. “We are excited to partner with the Drive Electric Campaign to support our work on ambitious e-bus deployment in South African cities.”

The inaugural LEAP Fund grantees include:

  • Conselho Internacional do Transporte Limpo- ICCT Brasil: Truck and bus fleet electrification policy and pilots in Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Centro de Movilidad Sostenible (CMS): Policy for electrifying medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in Chile
  • Fundación Despacio: Electric freight fleet mentorship program and pilot in Bogota, Colombia
  • Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC): E-jeepney analysis toward inclusive public transport in the Philippines
  • Asociación Paraguaya de Energías Renovables (APER): E-mobility infrastructure feasibility study and exploration in Paraguay
  • Clean Technology Hub: Research and development for e-mobility policies in Nigeria
  • Clean Air Initiative Africa: Accelerating the uptake of electric mobility: two- and three-wheeler analysis and outreach campaign in Uganda
  • WRI Africa: Advancing multi-modal transport electrification in Kenya
  • ENVIRO-PROTEC: Proving the concept of electric two- and three-wheelers in Burundi
  • C40 Cities – South Africa: Accelerating new business models for electric bus deployment in South Africa

Drive Electric partners have contributed to world-changing progress in the expansion of electric transportation, and already, 24% of world transport is committed to transitioning to 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2050. This progress is increasingly visible in the U.S., Europe, China, and India, which currently produce and account for 70% of vehicle demand. Through efforts like the LEAP Fund, Drive Electric is deepening its global engagement to support organizations implementing electric transportation solutions in emerging and developing markets where population growth will create soaring demand for vehicles in the coming decade. To support the LEAP Fund, the Drive Electric Campaign is working with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors as a fiduciary partner.

Drive Electric plans to launch a second phase of the LEAP Fund in 2023, incorporating lessons learned from this initial phase. To learn more about the LEAP Fund or to get involved in Drive Electric, visit

Published November 14, 2022

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