Zero Carbon Charge is building SA’s first solar-powered EV charging station
Zero Carbon Charge, in partnership with the Maquassi Hills local municipality in the North West, is building South Africa's first renewable energy commercial charging station for electric vehicles (EVs) near Wolmaransstad.
Breaking ground on November 20, it will be the first of a planned network of 120 such sites about 150km apart in all provinces.
The charging sites will be 100% green and completely off-grid, according to the company which has invested R1.8bn in the venture. 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 outside urban areas, said co-founders Andries Malherbe and Joubert Roux, while easing load-shedding challenges and offering a greater range to EV drivers.
The investment will boost 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 vehicles charging on their land, while a percentage will also be reinvested in local socioeconomic 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 South Africa because of the high price and Eskom’s power supply issues. It is estimated that less than 2,000 of the 12.7-million cars on the roads are electrically powered. In 2022 EV sales rose to 506 units from 218 a year earlier.
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