Zero Carbon Charge to build SA’s first solar-powered EV charging station
Facility at Wolmaransstad in the North West will be the first in a planned network of 120 fully green and off-grid EV charging sites across the country
Zero Carbon Charge, in partnership with the Maquassi Hills Local Municipality in the North West Province, is building SA’s first renewable energy commercial charging station for electric vehicles (EVs) near Wolmaransstad in the North West.’
Breaking ground on November 20, it will be the first of a planned network of 120 such sites located about 150km apart across all the country’s provinces.
The charging sites will be 100% green and completely off-grid, according to the company, which has invested R1.8bn in the venture. The company says each station will be capable of charging a passenger EV in 20-25 minutes.
The venture aims to meet the need for charging EVs travelling longer distances and outside urban areas, say co-founders Andries Malherbe and Joubert Roux, while easing load-shedding challenges and offering a greater range to drovers of EVs.
The investment will also boost SA’s rural economies by providing local jobs, opportunities for sales of local produce and products and an additional source of revenue for farmers. Landowners will earn 5% of the revenue generated from vehicle charging on their land, while a percentage will also be reinvested in local socio-economic development initiatives.
All sites will include a farm stall, parking area and restroom facilities, with a multiple-vehicle charging station area and a solar photovoltaic system. Zero Carbon Charge expects to have phase 1 operational by the first quarter of 2025.
Motorists have been slow to adopt EVs in SA due to the high price and Eskom’s power-supply issues. It is estimated that less than 2,000 of the 12.7-million cars on SA’s roads are electrically powered. In 2022 local EV sales rose to 506 units from 218 a year earlier.
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