Podcasts — 05 May 2015

Podcast 4:

Mr. Dirk Odendaal, Director of the Uyilo E Mobility Programme, NMMU, is addressing e-mobility – taking an idea associated with electricity as an energy source for moving people around right through the its commercial application.

Join us on podcast no 4 to find out

  • Are electric cars more energy efficient?

  • Is it cheaper to drive an electric or petrol car?

  • What is e-mobility?

  • Will we buy or lease batteries?

  • How far is the “range” of an electric vehicle?

  • Are there charging points in and around South Africa?

  • How long does it take to charge an electric car?

  • What business opportunities exist in this changing car industry?

  • Will there be enough electricity in South Africa for electric cars?

Introduction to the topic

Electric cars are becoming more and more common these days. In South Africa the Joule project – where a local company was looking at producing a viable electric car for the local market ended in mid 2012 due to lack of further funding.

In 2013 we see the Nissan Leaf penetrating the market place having developed a relationship with the Department of Environment to pilot, test and demonstrate the feasibility in South Africa. Nissan has also created partnerships with Eskom and the Technology Innovation Agency and is currently meeting with local municipalities to discuss the possibility of creating more charge stations across the country.

Some background on the Nissan Leaf:

It is one of the world’s first commercially available electronic vehicles and became available in the South African market in October 2013.  Over US$ 5 billion has been spent on the development of the car’s 24 kWh Lithium ion battery pack.

They have a range of up to 195 km’s and it takes 8 hours to charge the battery from zero to full. The Leaf also comes with a solar panel integrated into the roof spoiler, which helps to minimize the drain on the main battery pack.  However, if you find yourself running low in the middle of the day you can drive to one of the designated Nissan dealerships in Pretoria or Johannesburg (more fuelling stations will be launched around the country as the Leaf is rolled out to Cape Town and KwaZulu Natal in 2014) where their quick charge stations can juice you up from zero to 8-% power in just 30 minutes – and free of charge.

Anyone with solar panels installed at home can literally drive for free.

The Leaf has sold 87 000 units worldwide to date.

Resources and Links mentioned in this session include:

 www.uyoilo.org.za

email: dirk.odendaal@nmmu.ac.za

Nissan article referred to in the podcast:  Text by Nicky Furniss – Charging Ahead – the Nissan Leaf, Indwe SA Express February 2014.

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/Free Digital Photos . net

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