CAR manufacturers BMW and Nissan will work together to introduce a network of charging points for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in SA.
The initiative bypasses the government, which promised in 2012 that 50 fast-charging points would be installed for electric vehicles, mainly around Gauteng. That failed to materialise as stakeholders, including Eskom, suppliers and automotive companies, could not decide who would be responsible for the infrastructure and its cost.
Mr Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW South Africa says industry wide cooperation is the key to the future success of electric vehicles. “We have successfully launched the BMW i3 and i8. A key imperative of our strategy is to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is rolled out to help increase consumer confidence in the viability of electric vehicles. We therefore believe that in order for the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to be successful in this market, we need to work together. Our partnership with Nissan is the first step towards that.”
The agreement will see BMW SA and NSA roll out direct current (DC) fast-charging stations that are equipped with both the Combined Charging System 2 (CCS2) used by BMW’s electric and plug-in hybrid models and the Charge de Move system (CHAdeMO) plug standards used by Nissan’s 100% electric LEAF.
“The national grid of charging stations will also make use of smaller alternating current-type vehicle chargers in certain regions,” the companies said. “As part of the newly signed agreement, these chargers will be equipped with ‘type 2′ sockets that allow the connection of all EVs and PHEVs.”
The infrastructure will be managed by a joint task team comprising executives from both manufacturers.