Sustainability

South Africa is about to host the country’s first electric car road trip

South Africa is the 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

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The Electric Vehicle Road Trip Africa (EVRT Africa) will be coming to South Africa in October.

This will be the first electric car road trip in the country, starting in Johannesburg on Oct. 2 and ending in Cape Town on Oct. 10.

The road trip is a collaboration between Generation.e, which “promotes smarter mobility”, the Department of Transport, and the Gauteng provincial government.

The company has been on similar adventures in Europe and the Middle East, and decided to bring the event to Africa because the continent’s expanding urban populations makes it essential to look for ways to decrease carbon emissions and air pollution.

Generation.e co-founder and CEO, Ben Pullen, told Wheels24 that the event is aimed at promoting sustainability in Africa.

“We were encouraged to bring the EVRT to the continent by the African Alliance for Energy Productivity, an organisation which aims to inform, influence, and advance the efficient use of energy in Africa in order to grow the economy,” he said.

He added: “The work we have been doing with their team has made us aware of the challenges and opportunities for mobility and energy in Africa."

The road trip, which will have 30 charging points along the route, is an apt undertaking in South Africa. One of the most industrialised countries in Africa, South Africa is the 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

The ranking inspired President Cyril Ramaphosa to commit to promoting renewable energy in an announcement he made in October last year.

At the time, Ramaphosa told CNN: “If people around the world ever thought climate change is just a fable‚ we in South Africa are now seeing the real effects of climate change. We are facing a real, total disaster [including droughts] in Cape Town, which is going to affect more than 4 million people.”

Generation.e believes that electric vehicles, which produce half the carbon footprint of equivalent petrol-powered vehicles, are a possible solution to reducing South Africa’s carbon footprint.

As its website states: “The electric vehicle revolution is gathering momentum in South Africa, with modest beginnings starting to blossom into a full on movement.”

The country had 867 electric cars registered as of March 2019, while Jaguar Land Rover South Africa predicted that 43,000 new electric cars could be sold in the country in the next six years.

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