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Lobby group for electric cars launched in South Africa

Nomahlubi Jordaan | 2016-12-05 13:56:18.0
A Tesla Motors mass-market Model 3 electric car is seen in this handout picture from Tesla Motors on March 31, 2016.
Image by: HANDOUT / REUTERS

A consortium aimed at accelerating the development of electric cars‚ stimulate investor confidence in the sector and meet government’s commitments to reduce emissions‚ was launched in Johannesburg on Monday.

The Electric Vehicle Industry Association (EVIA)‚ which has been endorsed by the Department of Trade and Industry‚ will serve as a lobby group‚ enabling industry to work effectively with government and researchers to stimulate the sector.

“EVIA is now a powerful industry body committed to working with government to develop electric mobility in South Africa‚” said Kevin Nassiep‚ the South African Energy Development Institute's chief executive.

“We are accelerating the long overdue development of a sustainable and innovative electric vehicle industry in SA.”

EVIA and its members‚ will according to Nassiep‚ help government to identify regulatory gaps and deliver on key policies such as the DTI's Industrial Policy Action Plan and the Department of Transport’s draft green transport strategy.

Members of the association will also educate consumers and stimulate urgently needed behaviour change in a transport market dominated by polluting fossil fuel vehicles.

The new body will support the deployment of public Electric Vehicles infrastructure‚ and facilitate installation of fast charge units where most needed by motorists. It will advocate for renewable energy as a mainstream source of power for transport‚ homes and businesses.

“EVIA members will collectively reduce pollution‚ help meet global environmental targets and inspire current and future motorists to adopt more sustainable forms of transport‚” Nassiep said.

“By ensuring policy alignment we will help to reduce investor uncertainty in a sector which has boomed internationally but been a slow starter in SA.”

EVIA’s founding members are BMW SA‚ Gridcars‚ Nissan SA‚ the SA National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and Uyilo‚ a programme of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).

Participants will include government departments and agencies‚ other EV manufacturers‚ as well as electricity infrastructure and smart grid providers.

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