234 M$ invested in SA’s 1st network of EV charging stations in the Free State

The energy transition is gathering pace in South Africa’s mobility sector. In the Free State province, 4.3 billion rand ($234 million) will be invested over the next few months in recharging infrastructure. The announcement was made by Zero Carbon Charge (ZCC), which has just entered into a partnership with the provincial government of the Free State.

The agreement, signed in the judicial capital Bloemfontein, covers the installation of a network of 15 recharging stations for electric passenger vehicles and 7 recharging stations for electric trucks. The work will be carried out by ZCC and Zero Carbon Logistics, with full delivery of the facilities scheduled for September 2025.

Off-grid charging stations

The establishment of this network of charging stations “will not only promote off-grid electric vehicle charging stations, but also socio-economic benefits such as job creation and skills development, while supporting green mobility and energy resilience”, explains Thabo Meeko, the Free State Minister for the Economy, Small Business Development, Tourism and the Environment (Destea).

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ZCC’s charging stations will be powered entirely by photovoltaic solar energy. As a result, the charging stations will be protected from power cuts by the state-owned electricity company Eskom. In addition, solar recharging “will offer a clean, emission-free alternative to Eskom’s coal-fired network, which is essentially polluting”, says ZCC.

Construction of 120 charging stations across South Africa

The future network of solar charging stations will cover the local municipalities of Mohokare, Ngwathe, Metsimaholo, Mafube, Tokologo, Maluti-a-Phofung, Mangaung, Dihlabeng, Kopanong, Phumelela, Moqhaka, Mantsopa and Masilonyana. The company, headed by Joubert Roux, sees this project as part of its programme to roll out 120 renewable energy electric passenger vehicle charging stations and 120 electric truck charging stations in South Africa.

ZCC will thus play a key role in the development of environmentally-friendly mobility in the rainbow nation. The Environment for Development (EfD) network of research centres estimates that electric cars and plug-in hybrids could account for up to 20% of the new car market in South Africa by 2030.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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