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THE chief technical officer of Tesla Motors, the electric car company founded by SA-born Elon Musk, says he is excited about opportunities for energy storage and sustainable energy in SA and across the African continent. While Tesla had no plans to manufacture cars in SA it had employed a small team in the country that was working on energy-storage products, JB Straubel told business executives at the Accenture Innovation Conference in Johannesburg. Tesla’s management was keen to understand the South African and African markets and to apply its technology on the continent, he said. Countries with unreliable energy supply and underdeveloped electricity grids would be the first to implement new technologies that supplied and stored energy, Straubel said. The implementation of this technology would probably happen later in parts of the world where there were big coal or nuclear plants, he said. Tesla Energy already has a number of projects in Africa, including several of its Powerwalls...

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