E­lec­tric car plant moo­t­ed for town

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - News - Nic­key le Roux

Mos­sel Bay Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty was ap­pro­a­ched by a high le­vel de­le­ga­ti­on of the It­hu­ba Sa­vings and C­re­dit Hol­dings Group (ISC Group) last week to con­si­der the es­ta­blishment of an as­sem­bly plant and or ma­nu­fac­tu­ring hub for e­lec­tri­cal vehi­cles in the a­rea and to de­ve­lop a sus­tai­na­ble smart town for in­dus­tri­al, com­mer­ci­al and re­si­den­ti­al de­ve­lop­ment within the Gar­den Rou­te.

The de­le­ga­ti­on in­clu­ded Je­an Bi­la­la, chair­man of the ISC Group as well as the CEO of the ISC Bank in Ger­ma­ny, E­mi­ley Vol­l­mer.

Alt­hough the meet­ing was ex­plo­ra­to­ry, talks cen­tred on the es­ta­blishment of an as­sem­bly plant for the NIO Eve, a techno­lo­gi­cal­ly ad­van­ced e­lec­tri­cal vehi­cle that can dri­ve it­self u­sing ar­ti­fi­ci­al in­tel­li­gen­ce. It is a con­cept car by NIO, with a wor­king pro­toty­pe that was un­vei­led in 2017. The car is said to be an au­to­no­mous vehi­cle, but can be ma­nu­al­ly dri­ven if cho­sen. Vol­l­mer said they in­tend for the car to be in pro­ducti­on by 2020.

The group has sig­ned a me­mo­ran­dum of un­der­stan­ding la­te in Sep­tem­ber with the Gar­den Rou­te dis­trict mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty for coope­ra­ti­on in es­ta­blis­hing and i­den­ti­fying land and in­fra­struc­tu­re re­qui­red to im­ple­ment in­ves­t­ment go­als; and to ex­chan­ge in­for­ma­ti­on and i­den­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of bu­si­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­han­ce mu­tu­al in­te­re­sts for the Gar­den Rou­te and We­stern Ca­pe Pro­vin­ce.

Vol­l­mer, who is ba­sed in Ger­ma­ny, said: "By 2020 Ger­ma­ny wants to e­li­mi­na­te all fos­sil fu­el-dri­ven vehi­cles from its ro­ads." She ad­ded that the techno­lo­gy in­vol­ved in the NIO (me­a­ning first) Eve (re­fer­ring to the fact that the vehi­cle is being broug­ht to mar­ket by a wo­man) will soon be­co­me the norm.

In­ves­t­ment

"Op­por­tu­ni­ties co­me and go," Vol­l­mer said w­hen she dis­cus­sed the pos­si­bi­li­ty of es­ta­blis­hing an as­sem­bly plant for the NIO Eve in Mos­sel Bay.

She said the ven­tu­re would re­sult in ma­ny job op­por­tu­ni­ties, should it go a­he­ad, and ad­ded that trai­ning, e­du­ca­ti­on and hig­her le­ar­ning would form a co­re com­po­nent.

"We in­vest by he­art," said Bi­la­la. He men­ti­o­ned that the ISC Group was look­ing for land to es­ta­blish a ma­nu­fac­tu­ring plant for its e­lec­tri­cal vehi­cles for which the group had a con­fir­med or­der of 50 000 u­nits for Bu­run­di.

Har­bour

He said the Mos­sel Bay har­bour for­med an im­por­tant part of the plans, saying he group would want to ha­ve the first of the cars off the as­sem­bly li­ne by the end of next y­e­ar.

The as­sem­bly plant would, in turn, cre­a­te op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­la­ted in­dus­tries, such as up­hol­ste­ry and the li­kes to add to the ven­tu­re.

The mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty dis­cus­sed va­ri­ous op­ti­ons of a­vai­la­ble land and es­cor­ted the de­le­ga­ti­on to Moss­dus­tria for an in lo­co in­specti­on of w­hat is a­vai­la­ble.

The meet­ing con­clu­ded that fol­low-up dis­cus­si­ons would ta­ke pla­ce in In­do­ne­sia with the Mos­sel Bay de­le­ga­ti­on that would vi­sit that coun­try soon.

P­ho­to: You­tu­be

The Nio Eve at the launch in 2017.

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