BMW, Nissan trying to stay ahead of curve with electric power stations in SA


An interesting move to say the least, car manufacturers Nissan and BMW recently announced that they’re partnering up to build a national grid for electric and hybrid cars in South Africa.

What seems like a move only Tesla would encourage in sunny California, IOL Business reports that the two companies will roll out fast-charging stations from now until 2017.

Drivers of Nissan’s all-electric Leaf, for instance, can now rely on these stations while BMW’s more recent hybrids — the i3 and i8 models — can become less fuel dependant.

The managing director or BMW South Africa, Tim Abbott, said that the partnership with Nissan is essential to introduce and expand plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the market. “Our partnership with Nissan is the first step towards that,” he said in a statement to Reuters.

There are no estimates on how many of these stations we can expect and specifics on how they would function.

Announced in 2013, South Africa offers a 35% reimbursement on production costs over three years as an incentive for local electric car manufacturers which could be one of the main drivers behind BMW and Nissan.

As pointed out by Motorburn earlier this year, South Africa’s energy crises could pose a real threat to the market adopting electric vehicles.

Nissan spokesperson Veralda Schmidt doesn’t think that the state-owned power utility Eskom’s woes will be a threat: “It is not expected that the country’s power crisis will affect this initiative in any way. The companies are also exploring renewable energy sources to power their charging grid.”

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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