1. Introduction

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development. In line with the New Urban Agenda, among other things, UN-Habitat seeks to assist cities in implementing sustainable urban mobility solutions. In September 2014 the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI) was initiated by UN-Habitat and the EU supported SOLUTIONS project and launched at the UN Climate Summit in New York. The UEMI aims to contribute significantly to the overall goal of limiting the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by decreasing urban CO2 emissions globally. As one of the Action Areas of the UN Climate Summit the UEMI aims to phase out conventionally fueled vehicles in cities and integrate electric mobility into a wider concept of sustainable urban transport.

SOLUTIONSplus is an EU-funded flagship project, coordinated by the UEMI secretariat, (a non-profit entity based in Berlin) and implemented by UN-Habitat and other international partners that was launched in January 2020 and has a duration of 48 months. The project aims at delivering on the objective of the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI, launched by UN-Habitat) and aims to boost sustainable electrification of transport in large urban areas in developing countries and emerging economies. SOLUTIONSplus seeks to also establish a global platform for shared, public and commercial e-mobility solutions to kick start the transition towards low-carbon urban mobility. Towards these objectives SOLUTIONSplus is working to bring together highly committed cities, industry, research, implementing organisations and finance partners.  SOLUTIONSplus also works closely with UN Environment and the International Energy Agency (IEA) on a joint global urban e-mobility programme. Thus through a combination of the regional platforms, a global programme and local teams, the project aims to develop highly effective and innovative approaches to urban e-mobility ensuring that mobility systems and interventions from this project supports countries in  delivering  on the Paris Agreement,  the Sustainable Development Goals and the  New Urban Agenda.

The project encompasses city level demonstrations in 9 cities around the world to test different types of innovative and integrated e-mobility solutions, complemented by a comprehensive toolbox, capacity development and replication activities. Demonstration actions will be launched in Hanoi (Vietnam), Pasig (Philippines), Lalitpur/Kathmandu (Nepal), Kigali (Rwanda), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Quito (Ecuador), Montevideo (Uruguay), Madrid (Spain), Nanjing (China) and Hamburg (Germany).

Local Innovators Call: Montevideo, Uruguay

This call is premised on the assumption that the uptake of e-mobility in cities requires close cooperation  between start-ups, industry, city administrations and research and academic institutions. The purpose of this call is to boost and provide good examples of such collaboration in different structural and operational environments. On behalf of the SOLUTIONSplus consortium, UN-Habitat is issuing this call with a view to establish a collaboration between local and national public initiatives to promote e-mobility in Uruguay, industry and private sector partners and itself to promote innovation and the uptake of electric mobility.

Specifically, UN-Habitat plans to provide seed funding to demonstrate the development and  deployment of electric vehicles as a scalable solution in Montevideo. This may include prototypes and small fleets, test operations, services and/or provision of specific components to support the demonstration activities promoted in Montevideo. Local innovators may want to consider the integration of powertrains and mobility apps provided (for free) by SOLUTIONSplus project partners. The activities of the demonstration project should involve the Local production of Light Electric Freight Vehicles (LEFVs)

In addition, solutions for complementary measures can also be proposed, including:

  • Charging solutions (battery swapping, microgrids, and setting up of public and privately ownedcharging stations)
  • Battery management solutions providing details of type of battery technology proposed,battery’s performance / life/ chargeability, etc., suitability of the battery for the currentrequirement.
  • Mobility Sharing options (bike sharing, motorcycle sharing, scooter sharing,, rideshare, freight share, carpooling and vanpooling),
  • Operations (tools that provide optimisation support of e-mobility resources for example appsand software)
  • Vehicle conversion, hybridisation or conversion of the drive train (conversion from internalcombustion engines vehicle to an electric vehicle, convert a fossil fuelled drive train with anelectric drive train)
  • Integration to promote the idea of how electric mobility can be integrated within a Public transport system e.g. a feeder system of electric trikes / bikes connected to a metropolitantransport system or utility and power companies, and
  • Fleet management (working together with fleet managers of municipalities, or the managementof commercial electric vehicles such as cars, vans, trucks, specialist vehicles, forklifts, andtrailers).

Testing will also enable to assess the usage of electric vehicles for people and goods mobility in Montevideo and will provide blueprints for innovative business- and operational models.

Who can participate

UN-Habitat expects responses from NGOs, research institutions and public entities (including universities, local authority bodies) working in Montevideo. Each entity should be established under the Uruguayan legal framework.

Expressions of Interest should contain but need not be limited to the following:

  • Overall background of the institution/s in the area of urban mobility;
  • A description of the partnership 
  • A short conceptual proposal on how the organisation/consortium plans to develop the vehicle/s that should include:
    • Type/s of vehicle
    • Vehicle technical specifications
    • Number of vehicles to be produced
    • Contribution of the proposed vehicles to the demonstration activities in Montevideo
    • Timeline
  • Detailed breakdown of cost by component;
  • The support/ contribution the organization is willing to make including, cash and in kind; (contribution in terms of staff time, office space and equipment and others. Support in-kind should be expressed in monetary terms)
  • Governance and organizational structure; experience and qualifications of key professional staff and infrastructure facilities of the organization;

Selection criteria

  • The implementing institutions should be registered and active in the Uruguay in where the vehicle/s will implemented and should show previous experience on the design and assembly of small vehicles or components
  • The financial contribution that the implementing organisation is willing to make (It is expected that UN-Habitat’s financial contribution  will supplement the contribution of the implementing organisations)
  • In kind contribution by the implementing organisations e.g staff time, office and research facilities
  • Overall quality and innovation demonstrated in the proposal


  1. UN-Habitat Contribution

Upon selection UN-Habitat will enter into an Agreement of Cooperation with the selected entities. UN-Habitat will contribute up to USD$ 50,000 over a period of up to 18 months.

  1. Overall Timeframe

The work outlined in this EOI is scheduled to commence in August 2021 and completed the latest by 31 January 2023.

  1. Submission Requirements and Guidelines

Expression of Interest must be delivered in electronic format no later than 24 July 2021 to , copying with reference number EOI-30-06-2021 indicated in the subject of the email. Failure to do indicate the reference number in your submission may result in disqualification of your proposal from further evaluation.

  1. Contact Information

Stefanie Holzwarth

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254207625432

  1. Other

Please note that this EOI notice does not constitute a solicitation. UN-Habitat reserves the right to change or cancel this requirement at any time in the Expressions of Interest/or solicitation process.

Submitting a reply to an EOI does not guarantee that a Cooperation Partner will be considered for receipt of the solicitation when issued and only Cooperation Partners who are deemed qualified by UN-Habitat upon completion of evaluation of submission, will receive the final solicitation document.