Audi has announced that together with its partners, it has invested about R45 million over the past two years into state-of-the art car charging technology in South Africa.
The investments include the first DC 200kW charger with solar power back-up, as well as 76 fast and ultra-fast EV chargers across South Africa. With the latest addition of chargers, the total number of DC and AC charging connectors contributed by Audi now stands at 127. The chargers can accommodate a total of 57 EV cars simultaneously, at varying capacities, regardless of model or brand ownership.
Speaking on the rollout, Sascha Sauer, head of Audi South Africa, stated that making electric mobility simpler and more widely available for South Africans will enable the local EV market to grow.
“EVs are the future of mobility and we’re investing not just in hardware infrastructure…By fulfilling our promise from early 2022, we’re demonstrating our commitment to helping take SA into the future of mobility,” she said.
The partnership between Audi, GridCars and Rubicon includes a roaming agreement, which allows billing cards to be interoperable across the two networks to make charging easier for Audi customers and users of other EV brands.
Despite South Africa’s crippling power grid challenges, Audi made assurances that its charging stations will not be affected by rolling blackouts through use of alternative sources of energy.
“While load-shedding is a reality to which South Africans have become accustomed, it is worth pointing out that our charging network also capitalises on solar installations, where possible, to keep the charging stations optimally operational,” added Sauer.
Despite its load-shedding challenges and hefty price tags for electric vehicles in the country, research by News24 Motoring shows that South Africans love themselves an electric car. In 2022, when the Swedish automaker, Volvo, opened its online order books for the XC40 P6 Recharge, the 25 allocated vehicles for South Africa were sold out in only 24 hours.