The JOULE

Finweek English Edition - - COVER STORY -

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.”

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