Industry body for automotive companies, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), has received nine proposals from local and international companies interested in becoming service providers to roll out public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) in South Africa.
With the request for bids having been issued in June this year, the tender will include the provision of direct charging infrastructure along the southern African country’s N1, N2, and N3 highways, as well as the possibility of establishing microgrids at the sites to facilitate charging points with clean energy.
The charging infrastructure will facilitate cashless payment services, while the planned 20 to 30 sites will be situated at between 100km and 300km intervals.
“We are now going to provide charging infrastructure together as an industry,” stated Naamsa Business Council CEO, Mikel Mabasa, adding, “We have put all our money into one basket, to make sure we increase the scale and impact of the infrastructure we roll out.”
Financial support will be provided to the winning candidate by the country’s equity equivalent investment program, the Automotive Industry Transformation Fund (AITF), in accordance with South Africa’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment standards, and with primary business operations to be within the country’s automotive value chain.
“We are working with the AITF, which the industry set up two years ago, to support some of the infrastructure projects we are currently driving as a sector,” added Mabasa, noting, “We are going to use the AITF as a catalyst to drive that particular conversation as aggressively as we possibly can.”
In addition to the implementation of renewables-based microgrids – which will negate the negative impacts of using South African national utility, Eskom’s, propensity for loadshedding and coal-generated electricity – Naamsa has been engaging with the country’s National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications to ensure that all charging stations function at a similar level.