People’s Daily. South African-designed battery-electric passenger vehicles will be unveiled by early next year. The development of the prototype involves a range of stakeholders, including South African universities and industry.
Boni Mehlomakulu, group executive of the department’s [Department of Science & Technology] research, development and innovation program, told SAPA that both a passenger and a utility vehicle were currently being developed.
The passenger vehicle, “designed by a former Jaguar designer,” was a six-seater. It had a range of between 100 km and 400 km, depending on the speed at which it was driven, and the roof incorporated solar panels to help charge the battery when it was parked in the sun. The utility vehicle, which Mehlomakulu described as “like a panel van,” was a three-seater.
The vehicles will use batteries imported from China.
Initial production in 2010 is planned to be about 4,000 vehicles per year. Initially, the vehicles are intended for use in the government fleet.