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2013-05-02 14:05

PREVIOUS EFFORT: This was SA's only modern effort at building an electric car - the Joule soaked up millions of taxpaper's rands but never reached commercial production. Image: Wheels24

Johannesburg - South African vehicle manufacturers are to receive incentives to produce electric cars.

This in the face of much larger and richer European nations trying and, so far, pretty much failing to "electrify" their roads and the failure of South Africa's only electric car project, the Joule, in 2012 after many years of effort and wasted money totalling millions of rands.

Not one was successfully assembled for sale to the public.

Trade and industry minister Rob Davies said during an announcement today dubbed "the Electronic Vehicle Industry Road Map": "South Africa must not be left behind in greening initiatives and technology."

In terms of the "road map", producers of electric cars would have to make 5000 such vehicles before they qualified for an incentive at which point the state would reimburse the manufacturer for 35% of production costs over three years.


Davies said the "map" was meant to encourage development of infrastructure for the local production of electric cars. "What will make these vehicles sellable in South Africa will depend entirely on whether these cars are made in South Africa."

Davies said the state was looking at consumer incentives but that production would for now take precedence.

"These are the very early stages for the cars in manufacturing," he added. "There are zero of these cars being produced in the country, that is why we need to get the programmes going."

In February 2013 water and environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa announced a public-private pilot test project for an emissions-free electric car. Molewa attended the announcement.

She said there were three charging stations available in the country which were run entirely on solar power. "We aim to have 50 charging stations across the the country for the cars by 2015."

Read more on:    edna molewa  |  rob davies  |  electric cars

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