South African off-grid EV charging network gets green light

The planned development of off-grid charging stations for electric vehicles in South Africa is taking shape. The first 15 car charging stations and seven electric truck stations should be ready in about a year. They will be powered by locally generated solar power.

Image: Zero Carbon Logistics

As the initiator of these off-grid charging locations, Zero Carbon Charge has reached an agreement with the government of South Africa’s Free State province on a 4.3 billion rand (around 220 million euros) project to set up 15 charging stations for electric cars and seven charging stations for electric trucks. Around 3 million people live in the landlocked Free State of South Africa, where the main economic sectors are agriculture and mining.

The rollout of the aforementioned charging stations will be completed by September 2025 and marks the start of the construction of a total of 240 off-grid charging stations throughout South Africa – 120 each for electric cars and electric trucks. The Free State Government commented that it recognises Zero Carbon Charge as an important private partner “who will promote not only electric vehicles charging stations that are off-grid, but who will promote socio-economic benefits such as job creation and skills development.”

“By supporting our project, MEC Meeko is pioneering a new era of sustainable transportation in the Free State,” said Joubert Roux, co-founder of Zero Carbon Charge. “Our off-grid electric vehicle (EV) charging network will not only reduce the province’s carbon footprint but also stimulate local economic growth, creating new opportunities for small businesses, communities and farmers.”

A few weeks ago, electrive already reported on the location concept the initiators have in mind for their project. Zero Carbon Charge, headquartered in Vredendal, South Africa, has had the idea for off-grid charging stations for some time. While the company is preparing the off-grid HPC network for cars, a subsidiary called Zero Carbon Logistics was founded for the commercial vehicle sector.

According to Zero Carbon Charge, the architectural design and construction plans for the charging locations include ultra-fast charging technology in conjunction with modular battery packs developed in China. Photovoltaic systems take up a large part of the space at each location.


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