Electric cars still remain scarce and unaffordable for South African buyers, with just a handful of options available to buyers. E-mobility offers an opportunity to create a healthier, more inclusive city hence the City of Cape Town launched its first electric vehicle charging station free to the public on the 2nd of December 2020.
The one charging station is located in the parking area of the Bellville Civic Centre, the other charging station is yet to be revealed. According to the City, it is the first of two solar-powered EV charging stations that will be offered free of charge for the first two years to members of the public. The chargers were donated to the City by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
“The global transport sector was rapidly moving towards electrification and the list of countries to ban the internal combustion engine (ICE) was growing,” the city said. Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson admitted that the electric mobile trend had not hit South Africa yet and if the automotive manufacturing and component supply chains did not adapt to the trends, the sector would be left behind.
“The demand for transport services in the city will grow in the coming years and public transport presents the best business case for electrification. Currently, 38% of morning peak trips are on public transport, with about 95% of public transport users being in the low- to low-middle income brackets. One of the challenges faced by the industry include reducing the environmental impact of the sector while delivering improved mobility,” Neilson said.
Mayoral committee member for energy and climate change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti added that the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the devastating economic impact that global crises can have and had shown that planning for climate resilience and reducing emissions was important.
“Globally, cities have been the electric vehicle champions, supporting the uptake of charging infrastructure, driving research, education and awareness campaigns and the transition of public fleets to EVs.This kind of proactive response to climate change will also assist our city’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as the green economy offers new opportunities for businesses and job seekers,” concluded Maxiti.