Senin, 11 Maret 2013

SA vague on electric transport plans

Tata in India is setting an example for Africa with its
solar-powered charging stations for electric vehicles.
The Technology Innovations Agency in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and other key stakeholders such as car manufacturers, Nissan and BMW, utility Eskom, and other partners such as Sasol launched the E-Mobility Programme.
The programme aims to identify and support the development of new technologies in order to create a commercially viable infrastructure for the use of electric vehicles for both private and business purposes. 
But don't hold your breath.
Beyond selling their cars here, neither Nissan nor BMW spokespersons could answer any questions on what type of skills, and whether other types of evees, like scooters, formed part of the planning. 
The Technology Innovations Agency could only vaguely state it "aims to facilitate the development of the resources and skills necessary to create a nationwide electrical vehicle support network, which will include convenient recharging points."
What's there to create? 
Just imitate any of the plans that are already working in China, Europe, India and North America!
Why, our leaders can even go on another junket to study these solutions, and this time actually bring back something worthwhile.
The obvious plan is to import and subsidise thousands of electric scooters and to train electricians to fix them when (not if) they stop working.
The only reason why commuters have not taken up scooters is their fear of the taxi mafias, whose drivers will kill clients not using them. But if millions of scooters flood the market, the taxis will be outnumbered, and we can free up millions of rands a week currently wasted on taxi bosses to feed and school our youth.
Why not BYD busses or Leaf ambulances?
Because there are only so many bits that can stop working in a scooter, and if the local Auto Association can train auto electrical theory in 10-weeks, we can train hundreds of technices to fix both ice and 'lectric scooters in townships across South Africa in the same time.
What we don't need is another case of our leaders being duped to part with millions, as they did with the two (yes, just 02) Joule electric vehicles that were built.
For our gogos who are raising the nation between having to walk hours between low-paying jobs and taxi ranks each day, desperately need affordable alternatives to get home, not another politically-correct talk shop.

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