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Solar-powered EV charging station opens in Cape Town

City of Cape Town
(Image credit: City of Cape Town)

The City of Cape Town has launched a free-to-use electric vehicle (EV) charging station that is powered by the all mighty sun.

Solar powered electric car charger - could the City be any more woke?

With the climate change hot on our heels, the City is taking new strides in reducing its carbon emissions.

"eMobility offers an opportunity to create a healthier, more inclusive city, and one that uses a proactive climate change response to help drive the COVID-19 recovery," said the City in a statement. 

Transport is the second biggest contributor to the carbon intensity of Cape Town’s economy. This milestone is a step in the right direction. 

The charging station was donated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and will be available to residents free-of-charge for the next two years. 

The City is supporting the uptake of eMobility for all and is developing initiatives to drive the growth of this technology in Cape Town, so that it can become more accessible and rolled out in the future to benefit all Capetonians. 

The donated charging stations have been installed in the parking areas of the Bellville and Somerset West civic centres. The charging station in Somerset West will be opened to members of the public soon.

One small electric step for the City, one giant leap for the environment

  • Globally, the transport sector is rapidly moving towards electrification and the list of countries, regions and cities that have set dates to ban internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is growing. 
  • Transport is the second biggest contributor to the carbon intensity of Cape Town’s economy. This is exacerbated by urban sprawl and the long distances freight has to travel over a country as large as South Africa.
  • Increased congestion and inefficiencies not only increase the city’s transport-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), largely driving climate change, they worsen air quality and contribute to adverse health impacts on residents.
  • The number of EVs globally grew to over 7,2 million cars by the end of 2019, up 2,1 million from the year before and costs are expected to reach price parity with ICE vehicles within the next five years, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

How it works

  • A motorist with an EV drives up to the charging station. Depending on the car, reversing into the space may provide the best access to the charger.
  • Limitless charging is offered and the car’s charge card will be required to start the charge.
  • Using their own cable, users will connect the cable to the charger and then to the car. This initiates the charge. Users can then simply lock their car and attend to other business. The system will be secure and the cable cannot be released. Unlocking the car will stop the charge and release the cable.
  • The length of charge required will depend on the car and charge cable. But it takes roughly three hours to charge the battery from close to 0% to 80% for this particular 22 kW Dual AC charger.
  • How long a charge lasts will depend on the car and driving style. A three-hour charge can last roughly 150km depending on which vehicle one uses.
  • The charging stations will be closed at night.