SA to commercialise electric car

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pretoria - Initiatives are underway to commercialise a domestically developed electric car.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele made the announcement while addressing a G8 ministerial conference on global environment and energy in transport in Rome.

This is part of SA's plan to move towards a low carbon economy across all modes of transport.

"Our automotive sector would be profoundly affected by the long-term shift from the internal combustion engine to cleaner technologies, such as electric vehicles.

"This project will have broader spillover effects, including the creation of a legislative and regulatory environment to allow the operation of electric vehicles, relevant testing infrastructure for electric vehicles, local manufacturing for domestic and global markets, initiation of charging infrastructure and educational campaigns on electric vehicles," he said.

In addition to carbon dioxide mitigation, Ndebele said electric vehicles also have other co-benefits such as the lowering of local air pollution in urban areas.

As part of the energy supply interventions, South Africa phased out leaded petrol in 2006.

"South Africa has developed, and is implementing, a number of measures in the development and use of cleaner alternative fuels.

"These measures entail high-level coordination with relevant government departments, investors and development finance institutions, to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach to the development of the sector," he said.