U.S. Ambassador Julie Chung

Sri Lanka Energy Project (SLEP) has received top honors at the 2024 annual conference for the Society for International Development, the premier U.S. event for international development professionals. The award was given in recognition of the innovative solar-powered electric vehicle battery swapping stations owned and operated by Sri Lanka’s Sling Mobility (Pvt.) Ltd., particularly highlighting the station located at the Center for Women’s Research in Colombo, which generates income to support the center’s activities.

In a ceremony held June 13 at the Center for Women’s Research, U.S. Ambassador Julie Chung and Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera presented the Innovation Competition Award to representatives from SLEP and Sling Mobility. “It is inspiring to see this international honor come to Sri Lanka, especially since this is such a great example of innovation, renewable energy, private sector development, and women’s empowerment,” Ambassador Chung said, noting the project’s solar-powered battery swapping station at the women’s center contributes to the center’s income and supports sustainable urban mobility. “The United States is committed to our partnership with Sri Lanka to develop solutions that secure the country’s energy future, drive economic development, and lift all segments of society.”

This year’s conference “World in Crisis: Sparks of Hope” saw over 1,500 in-person and virtual attendees voting for innovative approaches to sustainable development. The USAID-supported SLING “360° Sustainable Mobility” project emerged as a standout, providing cost-effective and efficient solutions to the retail logistics sector through a smart electric vehicle ecosystem. This initiative significantly reduces the high initial costs of buying batteries and e-bikes by offering a battery subscription service. Collaborating with Uber for food delivery services, Sling Mobility has demonstrated the model’s effectiveness in reducing downtime for riders, thus saving both money and time.

“SLING Mobility’s collaboration with USAID marks a significant step towards a sustainable and green future for urban mobility in Sri Lanka,” said Sling Chief Executive Officer Love Yadav. “The “360° Sustainable Mobility” solar powered battery swapping project is not just a technological innovation but a testament to the transformative power of partnerships driving positive change and has a potential of sustained innovation in the energy sector beyond electric mobility.”

Additionally, USAID SLEP’s assistance also focuses on economically disadvantaged and marginalized populations, promoting their involvement in the retail logistics sector through electric vehicle use. In its first phase, the initiative trained 18 drivers, assisted 10 individuals in obtaining driver’s licenses, and conducted four outreach activities reaching over 100 participants.

The USAID Sri Lanka Energy Program is part of the broader U.S. partnership with the Sri Lankan people to promote a healthy, educated, and employed population. The program supports transforming Sri Lanka’s power sector into a market-based, secure, reliable, and sustainable system by mobilizing investment to deploy advanced technologies, increase flexibility, and enhance competitiveness.

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