Wolwefontein gets e-vehicle charger

Electric vehicle road trip leads to exciting new installation at Eastern Cape Karoo hotel

Hiten Parma, director at uYilo e-Mobility Programme shows the Generation-e electric vehicle road trippers around the NMU facility. Next to him are the Mandela Bay Development Agency tuk-tuks which have electric engines driven by solar power
Hiten Parma, director at uYilo e-Mobility Programme shows the Generation-e electric vehicle road trippers around the NMU facility. Next to him are the Mandela Bay Development Agency tuk-tuks which have electric engines driven by solar power
Image: Guy Rogers

Wolwefontein, located in an empty stretch of the Eastern Cape Karoo between Jansenville and Port Elizabeth, may seem an unlikely candidate for a smart mobility hub — but think again.

One of the spin-offs of the electric vehicle road trip presently under way is new charging stations and one of them has been installed at the Wolwefontein Hotel.

Ben Pullen, CEO at Generation.e, said on Tuesday the new stations were a key element of the road trip his organisation was co-ordinating.

“But the aim is also to contribute to the infrastructure for electric transportation in South Africa, in order to fast track the country towards adopting smarter mobility.”

Mario Maio, CEO of ACDC Dynamics, the company that is installing the new charge stations, said they would lay the foundation for a mass expansion of the charge station network across South Africa to support smarter mobility.

“Our goal is to make smarter mobility options a reality for all South Africans by providing a national charging network and the technology to support it.”

Maio said that as an entrepreneur he believed electric vehicles charging would create opportunities for local small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs.

Pullen said he agreed.

“With the correct information and support, the expansion of this industry can create opportunities for local entrepreneurs to develop their skills in a variety of areas such as the manufacture of lithium battery components.”

There was another sustainable business opportunity in terms of using solar and wind to feed the new charge stations, he noted.

“Tourism is such a large contributor to the economy of the country and launching a new charging station network also provides opportunities for local hotels, restaurants and various tourist attractions. They can benefit from increased traffic by tourists needing to charge their electric vehicles.

“The opportunities that smarter mobility can offer to South Africa as well as the smaller regional towns are endless. We are very excited about e-mobility possibilities and what they will mean for the future of this country.”

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