On Saturday morning on 25 February, the gates of the Cape Town E-Prix swung open to welcome guests from all over the world to attend the first ever Formula E race to take place in South Africa.
Co-located with the Cape Town E-Prix was E-Fest ELECTRIC, a consumer facing clean energy and electric vehicle event appealing to children, parents, young professionals, students, and businesses. As they arrived marching to the beat of the African drum they were greeted by exhibitors with latest mobility and energy solutions, kids play area, an ELECTRIC Stage with educational and entertaining sessions, along with food & drink from across Cape Town.
Ben Pullen, Group Director of Mobility at VUKA Group said, “It’s about pushing awareness and understanding but also interest and demand from end-users around products and solutions that are going to save people money, reduce our impact on the planet, but also to make life more fun!”
E-Fest ELECTRIC welcomed over 12, 000 visitors in one day, 30 uniquely selected exhibitors and over 400 global media companies who came to document the much talked about event.
Here’s what you missed…
Some of the key highlights that visitors expressed their excitement about were the electric vehicle experiences and the test riding of micromobility solutions. The electric vehicle experiences were hosted on a purpose built track which was sponsored by AutoTrader. Groups of people rallied around the track to get behind the latest electric vehicles available in South Africa. These included the Mini Cooper Electric and BMW iX3 from Drive Electric, a new electric vehicle leasing company which launched in Cape Town, the new Volvo XC40 Recharge, the Tesla Model X from Rubicon, the Mercedes EQA, EQB, EQC and EQS, and the BMW i3 which came from the Western Cape Government.
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Attendees also got to try out micromobility products such as electric bikes and scooters, and even an electric skateboard! These included Electric Life Rides, Wow eBikes, Kovsies Act, Evolve skateboards, Mellowvans, Valternative, and Recon Power bikes.
Another form of entertainment and education for the day was on the ELECTRIC Stage hosted by CapeTalk, some of the best radio hosts in the business joined to host and moderate sessions, and these included John Maythem, Lester Kiewit and Abongile Nzelenzele. This stage held informative discussions around electric bikes, clean energy, and electric vehicles, with the last session looking at what the youth can do to create the change we need.
Expert panellists and EV end-users shared their thought leadership and experience of using and owning an electric vehicle. Live exhibitors also came onto the stage to demonstrate the use of their products whilst answering the question “why it’s important to go electric?”.
From the horses mouth
Uyilo E-Mobility Programme Director Hiten Parmar, said, “It’s certainly an exciting opportunity. As much as we have an energy crisis, we see the opportunity of technology solving that, not only within energy, but also the opportunity to take that into transportation. And what Formula E, E-Fest ELECTRIC and the series of events that you’ve seen here is the opportunity to show that in South Africa this new technology is available, and it is in motorsport. The technology from these cars is the same technology used in everyday road cars. So it’s really inspiring, it is an investment into the country and it’s really what drives inspiration, achievements and possibilities for the country.”
Jeff Fuze, President of Recon Power Bikes in the United States said, “Well, I think there’s a tremendous opportunity in Africa, from a delivery standpoint with electric vehicles, to a tourist perspective. I think in the game park’s e-bikes are a great application.
And noting how Cape Town is a cycle-friendly city Fuze continues to say, “there’s just a tremendous amount of opportunity available here in Africa across a number of sectors. Where we can take gas powered vehicles or niche powered vehicles and replace them with e-bikes. We’re seeing more and more of it in Africa. I mean it’s the future and you can’t deny it.”
Amongst the informative talks on the ELECTRIC Stage, the crowd had a liking to the salsa inspired class Zumba, hosted by Virgin Active. Once the crowd got moving and grooving there was more to offer on stage.
Abongile Nzelenzele, talk show host for CapeTalk brought more energy on stage as the entrusted Master of Ceremonies (MC) for the day, announcing endless giveaways and competition grabbing opportunities. A Takealot voucher worth R1000 was up for offer to the best painter in the kids zone. Another prize up for grabs was the WOW E-Bike tour across the city. If you took part in the 360 photo booth challenge, then you stood a chance of being placed in the lucky draw to win a WOW E-Bike tour in the mother city Cape Town.
Overall the launch event was a success and it brought people from all walks of life to a common ground at the E-Fest ELECTRIC.
About E-Fest ELECTRIC
E-Fest ELECTRIC showcases electric vehicles and all things ‘home green tech’ and is hosted in Cape Town as part of the E-Fest Cape Town events co-located at the ABB Formula E Championship Cape Town E-Prix.
About VUKA Group
Bringing people and organisations together to connect with information and each other through meaningful conversation. To assist organisations to reach the next level of growth in their industry ecosystem.
- Cape Town E-Prix welcomed over 20 000 spectators
- E-Fest ELECTRIC:
- Welcomed over 12 000 visitors
- Hosted 30 uniquely selected exhibitors- enjoyed 30 speakers