Tuesday 7 October 2008

Asiimwe Paul

South African Company unveils electric car

The BBC has reported that a South African company has unveiled the continent's first electric car, expected to go to the market in 2010. The car's manufacturers believe it will reduce green house gas emissions and noise pollution. Subject to pricing however, it could turn out to be a hit across most of Africa due to its claimed fuel efficiency.

Some of the car's benefits are its long mileage after its lithium cells are fully charged, an expected 400 Km(249miles!). The other benefit is that unlike some other electric cars which have to be charged off a 3 phase power line, the Joule can be charged at home on a single phase line. Thirdly, the Joule comes with solar panels mounted on the roof to enable motorists benefit from solar energy, which can push the vehicle another "15-20km".

What is likely to be a short to medium term challenge is the chronic scarcity of reliable electricity in most African cities, especially East and West Africa.

Whatever the future holds for the 'Joule', Afro-IP welcomes yet another African innovation. Hopefully, it will be a strong brand among the new wave of green cars in the years to come.

Asiimwe Paul

Asiimwe Paul

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7 October 2008 at 22:40 delete

You have a good point about the reliability of electricity. As I sit here listening to the generator outside, I think of how ironic it would be for people to charge their electric cars off of fossil-fuel powered generators. But the new car is still exciting!