The Electric Vehicle Industry Association (EVIA), endorsed by the department of trade and industry, was launched on Monday at the Industrial Development Corporation in Johannesburg.
Last year, during the climate change talks in Paris, it was agreed upon by the United Nations that all participating nations must pledge to reduce their carbon emissions contributions to limit global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Among the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases is the transport industry and as such the pioneers of South Africa’s emerging electric vehicle (EV) industry have formed a consortium to accelerate the development of clean transport.
EVIA’s founding members include BMW SA, Gridcars, Nissan SA, the SA National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and Uyilo, a programme of the Technology Innovation Agency.
The association will serve as a lobby group, enabling industry to work effectively with government and researchers to stimulate the sector.
Participants will include government departments and agencies, other EV manufacturers, as well as electricity infrastructure and smart grid providers.
Speaking at the launch, SANEDI chief executive, Kevin Nassiep, said: “EVIA is now a powerful industry body committed to working with government to develop electric mobility in South Africa.”
“We are accelerating the long overdue development of a sustainable and innovative electric vehicle industry in SA,” Nassiep added.
In correspondence with ESI Africa, SANEDI's Senior Manager: Clean Energy Solutions, Carel Snyman, explained that there has not been any real growth in sales of EV because of the heavy tax in market.
“Not much growth is expected until we change the 43% tax on EVs. This is preventing more manufacturers from entering the market.
“Nissan and BMW took the bold step of bringing in EVs, hoping government would move faster to introduce incentives to create a favourable market, but this has not happened,” Snyman noted.
He stated that SANEDI and partners are now assisting government and cities to develop this favourable environment for cleaner mobility options in the country.
With regards to addressing the lack of facilities for charging EV, Snyman told ESI Africa that the association brings together the suppliers of the infrastructure, the manufacturers of the vehicles, and the users of electric vehicles to plan for the positioning of more public chargers in those areas where needed.
According to Snyman, small amounts at this stage have been invested by various players as part of demonstration projects.
The investors include the founders, South African Cities Network, UNIDO, property developers, private companies and individuals.
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