uYilo eMobility, an initiative of the Technology Innovation Agency to enable, facilitate and mobilise electric vehicle mobility in South Africa, has launched their 2021 uYilo Kick Start Fund. The fund, for eMobility and related projects, aims to assist projects in this sector reach commercialisation into the market.
The 2021 uYilo Kick Start funding call is open for eMobility and related projects to apply and receive as much as R1 million ($74,000) in grant funding.
uYilo eMobility Programme first provided Kick Start funding to qualifying eMobility and assistive projects in 2014. The fund was created as part of uYilo’s mandate to enable, facilitate and mobilise emobility in South Africa.
“The switch to electric mobility is changing the transport landscape globally,” says uYilo director, Hiten Parmar. “A critical part of this transition for South Africa is to have localised content, promote local industry and encourage local job creation. This is both to reduce the reliance on imported technology and products, and to extract the maximum benefit from the minerals and other resources that are abundant in Africa.”
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“Creating employment opportunities is a crucial part of improving the economy – and jobs in future growth sectors with emerging technology are highly desirable,” says Parmar. “The aim for all Kick Start funded projects is to facilitate the development to commercially-viable products, with associated job creation.”
All projects in the emobility ecosystem and value-chain are welcome to apply. Each will be evaluated according to specific criteria and then managed throughout the development process to reach a set of milestones in order to achieve a successful outcome.
Applications must be received by midday 30 June 2021 in order to be considered for funding, at which point each will be evaluated for shortlisting to pitching sessions before final contracting for funding.
Previous approved projects include EV charge points, EV back-office solution, battery packs and EV system components amongst others.
“Golden Arrow Bus Service in Cape Town is currently piloting an electric bus which will soon be open to public use,” says Parmar. “This project was one of the most recent to receive uYilo Kick Start funding and started as a detailed public transport feasibility study which has now progressed to this pilot phase.”
“With the global push to electric mobility there is a limited lifespan to the internal combustion engine (ICE) – and this will have an impact locally. There is perhaps a decade left internationally for ICE and South Africa has only that long to ensure our local emobility sector is market ready,” says Parmar. “The Kick Start fund is one of the instruments which drives the local development of this sector.”
Application forms and other relevant documentation is available on the uYilo website. All applications must be submitted by midday on 30 June 2021.