SA's three main airports power up with new charging stations for electric cars

2019-11-01 15:31
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Charge Now electric vehicle charging stations have been installed at  OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport.

Airports Company South Africa and BMW South Africa announced the launch of BMW ChargeNow electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport.

EVs accessing the BMW ChargeNow stations will now have exclusive parking bays at three airports. 

Joburg's OR Tambo International and Cape Town International Airport will each have two ChargeNow stations that accommodate up to four cars at a time, while King Shaka International Airport in KwaZulu-Natal has one ChargeNow station able to charge two cars at a time.

The BMW ChargeNow stations are located at prominent areas with maximum exposure, and can be found at:

  • OR Tambo International Airport, conveniently located in Parkade 2 South, level 2 (follow the Premium Parking directional signs)
  • Cape Town International Airport, on the ground floor of Parkade 1
  • King Shaka International Airport, on Level ‘0’ of the Multi-Storey Parkade

Speaking at the launch event held at OR Tambo International Airport, Airports Company South Africa Acting Chief Executive Officer Fundi Sithebe says, “Our airports continue to break new ground in terms of innovation and the introduction of infrastructure that seeks to enhance the passenger experience.

“We are delighted to launch the first electric vehicle charging stations at African airports. These charging bays will reduce the number one concern most electric vehicle drivers have which is range anxiety. From today, BMW EV users may drive to and from our three airports with comfort because while they travel, we will be charging their vehicles,” says Sithebe.

“We are grateful to our partner BMW South Africa for its partnership in this initiative. With both the vehicle and air transport sectors endeavouring to reduce their environmental impacts, services such as this will play an increasing role in coming years,” says Sithebe.

And both BMW and Acsa are serious about the green energy as they will cover all electricity costs associated with the charging stations for a period of 12 months from date of launch. 

Tim Abbott, Chief Executive Officer, BMW Group South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa says, “These new ChargeNow stations in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are physical manifestations of the seismic change our industry is going through.

WATCH: Electric planes and the world's longest-range single aisle airliner at the Paris Air Show 

“I’d like to thank ACSA for its vision, as integrated transport is at the heart of convenience. As the move to EVs gathers pace, I imagine we’ll see more of these partnerships. We’ve been rolling out charging infrastructure across the country since we launched the BMWi3 and BMW i8 in 2015, and these charging points take our tally of BMW ChargeNow chargingpoints to more than 60.” 

"BMW EV drivers will enjoy free parking [for a maximum of four days at a time] at the three airports during the month of November. This is to allow other EV users the opportunity to park and fly as well."  

Players in the tourism industry are starting to embrace the electric car, but is South Africa ready for it?

According to SA's Generation.e - a company dedicated to the progression and transformation of smarter mobility across the world - involved in SA's first electric car road-trip activation, it's going to take a lot of effort.

The road trip was used as a showcase for these electric cars' viability in South Africa, as well as to highlight and troubleshoot some of the challenges that need to be addressed.  Charging stations were set up by ACDC Dynamics across a number of hotels - with the aim of creating the largest charging network in South Africa - but the units don't come cheap.

An AC unit with a slow charge - which takes about seven hours for a full charge - costs around R30 000 excluding installation costs, while a DC unit that can fully charge in just over an hour is priced at around half a million rand. Watch the video above for more info. 

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