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Electric cars in SA: 'The future is green!'

2016-12-07 06:41

ELECTRIC CITY: More South Africans are considering purchasing an electric car in SA. What do you think of the new EVIA organisation?Image: Wheels24 / Les Stephenson

Cape Town - Pioneers of South Africa’s emerging electric vehicle (EV) industry have formed a consortium to accelerate the development of clean transport, stimulate investor confidence in the sector, and meet government commitments to reduce emissions. 

The Electric Vehicle Industry Association (EVIA), endorsed by dti, was launched on December 5 at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in Sandton.

EVIA’s founding members are BMW SA, Gridcars, Nissan SA, the SA National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and Uyilo, a programme of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).

Electric car future

We asked Wheels24 readers in our homepage poll: "What are the biggest stumbling blocks for electric cars in SA?

Price - 9882 (votes)
Electricity infrastructure - 12 608
Availability - 881
None of these should be problems  - 1741

We also asked our readers "would you purchase an electric car?" and the majority said they would consider making a greener change.

Yes - 13 477 (votes)
No - 9595
Depends on the range - 10 445

Readers respond

Aj Johnson: SA should target low hanging fruit in the EV market. Tuk-tuks are imported from Italy and India. However smarter tuk-tuks can be manufactured in SA by using the infrastructure used to manufacture golf carts.

Conventional tuk-tuks are poisonous to our climate because of their dated engines. Government should limit the emissions of these engines because of its collective damage to the environment. And in return encourage electric powered vehicles in the public transport space. Especially in a SA context, where we have good solar energy & limited fossil fuels. 

Colin Mutlwane: Every year government purchases hundreds of thousand of vehicles through the Mmela financial Scheme. This alone can be an ice breaker for the EVIA consortium that has been established to beef-up the Electrict Vehicle Market in SA?

Les Bridgland: I investigated PV power generation for home use over two years ago, bought all the necessary items and installed the system myself. At the same time I started to look into the use of an electric vehicle for daily run around use. 

Pros: low running costs, no 'services'.
Cons: Availability of electric recharge points, cost of vehicle, drain on the electric grid.

The solution would be to utilise the home PV power setup for 'zero' running costs.

READ: Schools race their self-built electric cars in Delmas

At the same time, I was a 'third party' to discussions at NERSA, and realised that if SA was quick in adopting the use of electric vehicles, well Eskom may have serious generation issues. 

I was trying to get hold of the right person in BMW to provide a real time South African test. In other words, I would make use of the vehicle and charge it using my PV system and then daily blog the experience. I could not get that right.

My conclusion: If you have a home PV system, and you are merely using the vehicle for daily round about trips, especially 'moms taxi', you would win, in the long term, otherwise you might regret the purchase of the vehicle.

Jan van Zyl: Would like to see the vehicles becoming cheaper by reducing/scrapping taxes and/or even building such vehicles in ZA. Maybe even paying the motorist/owner a rebate on them? After all - the motorist will be helping the Government to meet its international pollution targets. And reducing balance of payments on fuel imports.

Coupled with solar panels at work and at home - it will reduce the load on the electrical grid (given favorable weather conditions) - and reduce the need for new and expensive and potentially polluting power stations.

Also entrepreneurship - entrepreneurs can put up solar charge "service stations" at strategic points where taxis and buses can recharge.

The future is green!!

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