DR ALBERT VAN JAARSVELD, CEO OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION (NRF) SAYS:
The Joule experience has taught us that the major industry players were willing to throw considerably more resources at the EV market than we originally anticipated, or could afford to do ourselves. This has made our industry partners the major players in this space at this point. I think the current strategy to harness those prior investments from the private sector by way of incentives is the correct one. These incentives will create a climate that encourages further industry investments in a manner that will ensure South Africa plays a significant role in that emerging manufacturing space into the future.
KOBUS MEIRING, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, OPTIMAL ENERGY WHO DEVELOPED THE JOULE SAYS:
“The development of the Joule was sparked by the convergence of factors such as oil supply, climate change, city pollution, urbanisation, and the unique position in which South Africa is with regard to technology development capability, car manufacturing, unemployment, and its environmental commitments. Electric vehicles for urban transport have three major advantages – they have the highest energy (and thus cost, once commoditised) efficiency on a “well-to-wheel” basis, they offer complete f lexibility as to the source of energy, and the technology is available right now. As clean electric power generation such as wind and solar is growing exponentially around the world, electric vehicles will allow for true zero emission motoring – probably the most important driver. In the short term, battery costs and technology will keep electric vehicles within urban parameters, where the cost of the electric vehicle can be competitive by limiting battery size, and thus range. If the trend displayed by batteries over the last two decades continues, electric vehicles will become cost and range competitive with its petrol or diesel peers in all motoring segments, including SUVs. The big advantage favouring electric vehicles is one of efficiency – thus they will always be substantially cheaper on a R/km basis than a petrol or diesel car. But mass production is required to commoditise batteries and electric motors, and most countries have realised that incentives are needed to reach mass production. And I think this point will be reached much sooner than predicted even a year or two ago. Thus, a no-compromise solution that it’s cleaner and cheaper to run.”