South Africa’s embattled electric utility, Eskom has said it’s working with major players in the electric vehicle (EV) space, in an effort to unlock potential for the technology in the country.
The utility said that the global move away from conventionally-fuelled vehicles has been growing, and that 30% of all vehicle sales would be electric, or hybrid-electric by 2025.
Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said “Locally we have seen about 1,000 EVs being sold in South Africa since 2015 – the pace being much slower than Europe and China.”
He went to indicate factors blocking adoption including 45% import taxes and duties imposed on imported EVs, and the lack of charging infrastructure in the country.
Phasiwe reasserted Eskom’s involvement in the EV sector as the primary electricity provider in the country.
“International experience is showing that EV manufacturing, charging stations and battery manufacturing are creating new job opportunities and new markets – often linked to the retraining of people who were working in the fuel car industries,” he said.
Eskom said its working with various interested stakeholders in the industry, including car manufacturers, and non-governmental organisations like EVRT Africa, GridCars and uYilo.
“Electric vehicles will be the transport medium of the future and we as South Africa need to be part of the movement, or risk massive losses if we are not geared for this new wave of technology,” Phasiwe noted.
He went on to state the utility’s interest in developing tariffs for EV owners, encouraging off-peak charging, which would help stabilise demand outside of peak periods, making charging for affordable for South African EV owners.
Phasiwe assured consumers that a massive growth in EVs will not have a major impact on the overall energy supply.
He further revealed that the power utility is making progress in its research on photovoltaic and battery storage options to power EVs in the future.