14 oct 19

2000 km EV Road Trip Across South Africa

South Africa is not associated with reliable electricity, nor is it an easy place to sell new cars – let alone new car concepts. Surprising, then, that it was the location for an epic EV road trip.

The Electric Vehicle Road Trip (EVRT), organised by sustainability and smarter mobility campaigner Generation.e, set off from Johannesburg on 2nd of October and completed last Thursday night (10th).

Promoting innovative mobility solutions

While acknowledging obstacles to wider EV adoption, such as high import taxes and lack of charging infrastructure in South Africa, Generation.e Co-founder and CEO, Ben Pullen, said:

“After successful road trips across Europe and the Middle East, we decided to bring this experience to Africa because expanding urban populations require innovative mobility solutions without increased carbon emissions."

Adding EV charging points

South Africa currently has 121 EV charging points. Generation.e installed around 30 new ones along the route, in hotels, petrol stations and other sites in each of the cities visited, including Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.

The trip was organised in conjunction with the Department for Transport and Gauteng Provincial Government.

There are currently only three EVs sold in Africa, including the Jaguar iPace, Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 – all of which took part in the event.

The Mercedes EQC, which was showcased at the inaugural Smarter Mobility Africa summit on the 1-2 October, will be available in 2020.

Participants drove long distances across the continent, tackling challenging environments to showcase the cars’ power and capabilities.

Authored by: Alison Pittaway