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Electric cars to appear on south Africa’s roads soon

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PRETORIA, Feb 27 – As the world battles to find ways to avoid the threat of climate change, South Africa says it will show how vehicles powered by renewable energy can contribute to cutting carbon emissions. In what officials have described as a ground-breaking pioneering initiative for the South African automobile market, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Tuesday introduced the department’s zero emission electric vehicles, also referred to as the Green Cars.

The move is part of the government’s efforts to ensure that South Africa practically contributes to the reduction of environmentally harmful gases, by promoting the use of cleaner sources of fuel by the automotive industry.

“We are here to celebrate a programme that will help us attain that carbon emission reduction we committed to in Copenhagen…at COP 17. We adopted a policy and now we are partly implementing that policy,” Molewa said. She added that the fleet of cars would be stationed at the department’s

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optimal-energy-joule-580-537x366“Green” building in Pretoria for the initial testing period. She said the South African government was proud to join other countries in the world which had tried the innovation.

“The green transition in the automotive sector represents an enormous opportunity. We cannot miss that,” Molewa said, noting that South Africa was the 18th largest manufacture of vehicles in the world and represented 80 per cent of Africa’s vehicle output.

The technology has been tested in several countries and experts have said even in the cloudy country like Britain, a solar panel can provide enough powerto drive an efficient electric vehicle for 5,000 miles each year for up to 30 years. Politicians at climate summits have pledged to ensure that more than 20 million electric vehicles are on the road by 2020. A senior official in the Department of Environmental Affairs said the initiative to introduce electric cars in South Africa started shortly after the COP17 climate change summit held in Durban in 2011.

BERNAMA