South Africa Gears Up for Electric Vehicle Boom
The Nissan LEAF landed. The BMW i3 is headed there soon (2014). And even the BMW i8 will be available (late 2014 to 2015) to a select few.
That’s all in South Africa, but none of those plug-in vehicles would be available there if the nation hadn’t made a strong commitment to plug-in vehicles.
Back on February 26, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs launched a Green Cars (Zero Emission Electric Vehicles) program. That was followed up by the March 13 launch of South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency electromobility program. Soon, South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry will release its Electric Vehicle Industry Roadmap.
That’s a lot of plug-in related initiatives in a short length of time. This suggests that South Africa is getting serious about plug-in vehicle vehicles and that’s important because demand for transport in South Africa is expected to grow quite rapidly, which will certainly increase emissions and there’s a report soon to be released by South Africa’s Energy Research Center that claims electric vehicles could “significantly reduce emissions” even with no changes to the nation’s current grid or source for electricity.
Furthermore, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs sees electric vehicles as one of the leading solutions to reduce CO2 emissions.
Even the country’s Department for Trade and Industry says local production of electric vehicles would be beneficial to South Africa in terms of job creation, industrialization and potential export value.
So, with all signs suggesting South Africa is gearing up for an electric vehicle boom, it’s no surprise that the nation’s government will be first to jump on board by committing to purchase 3,000 to 5,000 plug-in vehicles per year from 2015 and beyond.
But will residents of South Africa purchase plug-in vehicles, too? We’ll know soon enough now that the Nissan LEAF is available there.