The thousands of visitors who attended the recent E-Fest ELECTRIC in Cape Town indicates consumers’ growing interest in the rapidly expanding world of clean-energy products and electric vehicles, say event organisers.
Co-located with the ABB FIA Formula E Cape Town E-Prix held at the end of February, the clean-energy and electric vehicle event featured a range of exhibitors. Besides test drive facilities supported by AutoTrader that gave attendees the opportunities to experience electric vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, MINI, Volvo, Nissan, Mellowcabs, and Valternative visitors were also able to get a closer look at the mobility solutions from brands such as Energica, WOWeBikes, Evolve Skateboards, Electric Life scooters and Recon Power Bikes Africa.
Toyota Motors South Africa had an exciting range of vehicles on show at E-Fest ELECTRIC including a Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, a Toyota RAV4 Plug-in hybrid vehicle, and a Lexus UX BEV, which is one of their latest fully electric vehicles.
“The success of this event can be seen by the number of people who visited us at E-Fest ELECTRIC – over 12 000 – and the interest they had in all the different solutions that were on show. These included electric bikes, scooters, cars and three wheelers as well as solar solutions and battery storage. There was also the ELECTRIC Stage, which was full of content sessions moderated by CapeTalk and Kfm, as well as test drives, and the family fun area – so there was really something that everyone could get excited about,” said Ben Pullen, Group Director of Mobility at Vuka Group.
“Every stand was buzzing with racegoers who wanted to find out more about the products and services that were available to them, demonstrating the appetite from the market for clean energy solutions and electric vehicles. What’s more encouraging is that many of them were families and young children” he added.
The very first FIA ABB Formula E race in Cape Town, held alongside the E-Fest ELECTRIC, was arguably the most exciting event of the season, wowing South African racing enthusiasts with an unexpected and dramatic finish. Here's what went down👌https://t.co/ssmEJoBZ7S— AutoTrader (@AutoTraderSA) February 27, 2023
Role of Eskom in e-mobility
Included in the line-up of those displaying the latest in clean energy and electric vehicle solutions was Eskom, one of the partners of E-Fest ELECTRIC.
“As one of South Africa’s key energy players, Eskom is committed to supporting the development of the country’s electric mobility (e-mobility) sector. We have designed a residential time-of-use (ToU) charging tariff which, after approval by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), will enable electric vehicle owners to achieve significant savings when using the off-peak and standard periods to charge their cars, thereby encouraging electric vehicle uptake and boosting electricity sales,” said Eskom’s Group Executive for Distribution, Monde Bala.
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“Eskom is also deploying microgrids, and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), which will be among the key enablers of e-mobility in the country, and will soon seek suitable partners for the rollout of public charging stations at various Eskom sites, and these will also be accessible to the public,” added Bala.
Extending the conversation around the theme, the “ELECTRIC Stage” hosted a variety of discussions around electric cars, bikes, charging technology and home clean tech, and provided a platform to answer racegoers’ questions after experiencing their first electric race in South Africa.
The event also provided exhibitors with an opportunity to showcase products to consumers and interact with industry stakeholders.
“Valternative Energy was excited to announce the successful launch of its first electric bike with swappable battery technology at E-Fest ELECTRIC. As a leading provider of sustainable energy solutions, the company was proud to showcase its innovative product to a diverse audience of industry professionals, students, and other interested parties,” said Valternative Energy co-CEO Shahil Maharaj.
This sentiment was shared by Robyn Rütters, the Sales & Marketing Manager for Recon Power Bikes Africa: “Exhibiting at E-Fest ELECTRIC proved to be not only an exciting event to showcase our e-bike range, but it was very refreshing to interact with so many like-minded individuals and business owners focussed on the future of e-mobility in South Africa and that are enthusiastic about learning more about our electric-powered product.”
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We would like to extend our greatest gratitude to all our stakeholders, partners, exhibitors and service providers that were a part of making E-Fest ELECTRIC such a success.— E-Fest Electric (@efestelectric) March 2, 2023
See you all, same time, same place....in 2024.
Let's get ELECTRIC ⚡#efestELECTRIC #CapeTownePrix pic.twitter.com/2z5EM90fk1