Zero Carbon Charge aims to facilitate South Africa’s transition to renewable energy for EVs

Zero Carbon Charge planned network map

Green energy will soon charge your car on roads across SA

South African road users can look forward to a reliable network of charging stations for electric vehicles – all 100% powered by green energy. Zero Carbon Charge is currently rolling out a national network of fast chargers on all the strategic routes in South Africa.

The brainchild of founding directors Joubert Roux and Andries Malherbe, Zero Carbon Charge aims to facilitate South Africa’s transition to renewable energy in the vehicle industry. “Our mission is to develop a fast charging network that is powered solely by renewable energy and which covers the entire national and provincial road network,” says Roux.

“Within five years, there will be significant numbers of electric vehicles on South Africa’s roads. Even when assuming far lower penetration levels than in the European market, we estimate that there will be about 200 000 electric vehicles in South Africa by 2027. Add to this the fact that most manufacturers will stop making internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in 2030 and it is evident that a major need will soon exist for electric charging stations,” says Malherbe.

At present there are fewer than 250 electric charging stations in South Africa and many of them are located at car dealerships. One of the concerns that owners of electric vehicles often highlight is ‘range anxiety’, in other words ‘Will they have enough charge to get to the next charging station?’

Zero Carbon Charge plans to solve this dilemma by creating a network of chargers that will allow South African drivers to travel across the country in the knowledge that there are charging stations located every 150km along their route. The network will launch with 100 charging stations at farm stalls across the country, with plans to expand to 150 stations in the near future.

Technological expertise

An undertaking of this magnitude and complexity requires the necessary technological expertise and therefore Zero Carbon Charge is collaborating with the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University.

Arnold Rix, an expert in renewable energy and e-mobility, at the Electrical and Electronic Engineering department of Stellenbosch University had the following to say: “

We are working at the forefront of decarbonizing the transport sector by investigating the transition to electric vehicles and the impact this would have on the current supply/shortage of electricity in South Africa. The use of renewable energy, to charge vehicles, will ensure no additional burden is placed on an already constrained network as well as contribute to decarbonizing the transport sector. The Zero Carbon Charge project fits exactly within the vision of a decarbonized transport sector and would be able to make use of the existing expertise at Stellenbosch University to help fast track their development.”

Destination charging

‘Destination charging’ has emerged as a buzzword in the electric vehicle industry. Because electrical charging takes longer than refueling with traditional fossil fuels, consumers want to charge their cars at places that they would like to visit. Farm stalls are the ideal fit as they offer interesting, hospitable destinations in areas that are otherwise typically remote.

A shortage of grid-supplied power in these areas is not a barrier for Zero Carbon Charge, as all power will be generated on-site by the sun and wind, which are plentiful in South Africa. “This is truly a win-win situation as the presence of charging stations at farm stalls also increases traffic to these establishments and generates income for entrepreneurs in remote areas,” adds Roux.

“We are very excited to launch South Africa’s first electrical charging network that is not tied to the national grid. This alleviates pressure on the provision of electricity in South Africa and drastically lowers carbon emissions in our country. ICE vehicles produce 29% of the carbon emissions on earth. It is therefore evident that – when powered by sustainable energy – electric vehicles are far better for the environment,” says Malherbe.

Zero Carbon Charge will commence with the construction of its first charging station in June 2022. Very soon South Africans will have a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to fossil fuel when travelling on roads across the country.

For further queries, please contact Joubert Roux.

082 804 1892

[email protected]

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