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Nissan and Eskom launches electric vehicle research projectBy Hanleigh Daniels 29 May 2013 | Categories: News
Nissan has announced the launch of a three-year research project with local electricity utility provider Eskom, which will include testing the LEAF, Nissan’s flagship electric vehicle.
This project has started ahead of Nissan South Africa’s plans to formally launch the Nissan LEAF locally later this year, which will make this car the first commercially available fully electric vehicle (EV) in South Africa.
As part of the Nissan/Eskom collaborative project, Nissan SA handed over a fleet of Nissan LEAF cars to Eskom. “I’m delighted to be handing over 10 Nissan LEAFs for this research project,” said Johan Kleynhans, Nissan SA sales, marketing and aftersales director, adding “the outcome of which will have long term implications for the development of the entire EV industry.”
The EV fleet will be maintained by Avis Fleet Services, who have been appointed by Nissan SA to manage the vehicles on Eskom’s behalf.
E-mobility approach in the works
Barry MacColl, Eskom’s GM for research, testing and development stated that while South Africa makes use of fossil-based fuels for many of its energy processes, a new approach by the name of e-mobility was in the pipeline. This approach involves a way of moving people around in a more effective and environmentally-conscious manner, which MacColl said is critical for the local economy.
Kleynhans acknowledged that a full-on launch of EVs such as the LEAF within the South African market is subject to finalisation of government legislation, but he reiterated that Nissan remains intent on launching this vehicle for sale before the end of this year.
“We are collaborating with all concerned in the e-mobility programme by providing our hands-on experience with EVs and the infrastructure required,” he explained.
Eskom’s goals for the project
MacColl further elaborated on the project: “Eskom has been doing EV research for several years with the intention of understanding the impact of EVs on our grid.”
He added that Eskom “also want to understand usage patterns and charging characteristics of the cars themselves in order to design grid solutions and tariffs for e-mobility.”
In other car related news, Ford recently unleashed the fastest small production performance car that the company has ever produced - the new Fiesta ST - onto local roads.
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