Articles Posted in the Transport category

SA electric car to be mass produced by 2012

April 3, 2009
Posted in Transport


Cape Town-based Optimal Energy plans to mass produce its fully electric vehicle, Joule, in South Africa from 2012, but we can expect to see pilot fleets on our roads and internationally from next year, the company says.

The company has raised the industrialisation capital from a share issue to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and from the Innovation Fund, the technology investment division of the department of science and technology. It intends raising more private capital towards the end of 2009.

“Interest in the vehicle has been enormous both at a local and international level,” said Kobus Meiring, Optimal Energy’s CEO.

“We are in the process of selecting a site for our first assembly and manufacturing plant. The location of the plant will be announced later this year,” he said.

Joule is a hit in Paris

October 11, 2008
Posted in Transport

SA’s Joule electric car was described as “the darling of the Paris autoshow” this week. Which is something to make us Sefricans feel very proud of Optimal Energy, the Cape Town company that made the car. Now that Optimal has lifted the veil of secrecy, you can go to the website to find out more about the Joule and see pictures. But, in the meantime, here are some facts about the car that weren’t in the press release:

  • The Joule’s lithium-ion battery pack will cost about a third of the price of the car (word is the car will sell for around R200,000), so Optimal Energy plans to lease the batteries rather than sell them. A battery is expected to have a lifespan of about seven years. They are recyclable and contain no heavy metals.
  • The car’s overall running costs will be around 20 percent lower than a petrol- or diesel-powered car at today’s fuel prices, and this could increase to as much as a 40 percent saving by the time the vehicle is launched in 2010 if fuel prices continue to rise as expected, according to Optimal Energy.
  • Maintenance costs will be half that of petrol or diesel equivalent vehicles, the company says.
  • The car goes from 0-50km/h in 4.8 seconds and 0-100km/h in 15 seconds.
  • The car is 3.9m long and 1.8m wide, seats six and has a 700-litre boot.
  • It comes standard with blue tooth compatibility and iPod functionality,
  • It will be available for media test drives next year.

Sources: Edmunds Inside Line, Wired Blog Network, Optimal Energy, Car Today