A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been inked between a South African electric vehicle (EV) charging station contractor and an energy storage systems manufacturer, paving the way for the deployment of 120 renewable supercharge stations across South Africa with a total investment of R1 billion.
Under the agreement, Zero Carbon Charge has partnered with Shanghai Magic Power Tech, a Chinese energy storage systems manufacturer, and its local collaborator Greencore Energy Solutions to introduce integrated supercharging systems, marking a groundbreaking initiative in the country.
According to Zero Carbon Charge, these 120 renewable charging stations, powered by off-grid solar energy, will enable motorists to charge any electric vehicle at its optimal charging rate, ensuring seamless functionality and accessibility.
Joubert Roux, Co-founder and Director of Zero Carbon Charge, expressed optimism about the project’s timeline, stating that the first batch of superchargers is slated to arrive in South Africa by July. Pending regulatory approvals, the entire network of 120 solar-powered charging facilities is expected to be operational by September 2025.
The MOU follows Zero Carbon Charge’s recent trip to China to secure products for establishing a comprehensive off-grid national charging network, a significant milestone in their partnership development process.
The forthcoming 480 kW liquid-cooled supercharger systems, provided by Magic Power and Greencore Energy Solutions, will seamlessly integrate with solar PV generation and battery storage at each charging station, ensuring efficient and sustainable charging capabilities.
Given the strain on South Africa’s predominantly coal-fired grid highlighted in the government’s draft Integrated Resource Plan 2023, the deployment of off-grid powered EVs is deemed crucial to alleviate grid pressure and expedite the end of load shedding.
Moreover, transitioning to renewable energy sources for EV charging is imperative to meet global emissions targets, as EVs charged with coal-fired electricity emit significantly higher carbon emissions compared to petrol vehicles.
Zero Carbon Charge remains committed to collaborating with commercial partners and government stakeholders to facilitate the widespread adoption of EVs, aiming to position South Africa as a leader in the transition towards cleaner energy solutions for transportation. Andries Malherbe, Co-Founder and Director of Zero Carbon Charge, expressed pride in contributing to this transformative shift and driving sustainable mobility initiatives in the country.