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Who will push electric cars in SA? Meet the govt-backed EVIA

2016-12-05 12:35

REDUCING EMISSIONS: More will be done to reduce vehicle emissions in South Africa. Image: Trevor Noble

Johannesburg - 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).

Supporting' SA's EV future

Participants will include government departments and agencies, other EV manufacturers, as well as electricity infrastructure and smart grid providers.

EVIA will serve as a lobby group, enabling industry to work effectively with government and researchers to stimulate the sector. 

Better infrastructure, cheaper cars, improved tech... What do you think should be done to improve sales of electric vehicles in South Africa Email us or reach us via Facebook  and Twitter. 

Kevin Nassiep, SANEDI chief executive: “EVIA is now a powerful industry body committed to working with government to develop electric mobility in South Africa.

“We are accelerating the long overdue development of a sustainable and innovative electric vehicle industry in SA.”

How it works?

The EVIA charter commits it to helping the state to curb emissions by introducing electric mobility to the transport sector, and to meet international commitments signed at COP21 in Paris. 

EVIA and its members will help government to identify regulatory gaps and deliver on key policies such as dti’s Industrial Policy Action Plan and the Department of Transport’s draft green transport strategy.

READ: Vroom-vroom: Gov't to require hybrid, electric cars to make noise

One of the consortium’s key roles will be helping government and researchers to test and scale up innovations in the electric mobility sector. It will develop and implement EV technologies in large-scale demonstration and pilot plants. 

EVIA’s partners are already working with TIA’s uYilo programme on standardisation of charging infrastructure for battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). This will result in all EVs from all manufacturers being able to charge at the same location. 

TIA chief executive Barlow Manilal said: “We’ve learned the lessons from the mobile phone and laptop sector and will avoid the frustrating range of incompatible chargers that would hamper the uptake of EVs.” 

EVIA working groups will tackle battery technology, the EV market, charging infrastructure and tariffs. EVIA members will also educate consumers and stimulate urgently-needed behaviour change in a transport market dominated by polluting fossil fuel vehicles. 

EVIA will collaborate with international bodies to learn from best practice and the latest technologies, particularly in advanced EV markets such as Norway, France, China, the UK, US and Netherlands. 

The new body will support the deployment of public EV infrastructure, and facilitate installation of fast charge units where most needed by motorists. It will advocate for renewable energy as a mainstream source of power for transport, homes and businesses. 

'Slow starter in SA'

Nassiep said: “EVIA members will collectively reduce pollution, help meet global environmental targets and inspire current and future motorists to adopt more sustainable forms of transport.

“By ensuring policy alignment we will help to reduce investor uncertainty in a sector which has boomed internationally but been a slow starter in SA.” 

The SA Low Carbon Transport project of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will help the dti and EVIA to align policies and introduce incentives to support the development of EV technologies. 

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