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Electric car Joule can unlock the battery industry in South Africa

Zero-emission electric vehicles are being punted as the future of the automotive industry. Run by batteries, charged by using a simple wall-plug instead of petrol or diesel, several governments are gearing up for its launch and expected expansion.

10th September 2009

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Zero-emission electric vehicles are being punted as the future of the automotive industry. Run by batteries, charged by using a simple wall-plug instead of petrol or diesel, several governments are gearing up for its launch and expected expansion.

The US, for example, has envisaged a fleet of one-million electric vehicles on its roads by 2015, with the government providing $25-billion in soft loans to develop these zero-emission, plug-in cars.
South Africa is also developing its own electric vehicle in the form of the Joule. Optimal Energy hopes to start pilot production of this vehicle in 2010.

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CEO Kobus Meiring says the imminent production of the car creates a great opportunity for South Africa to get into The New Oil - or, the production of lithium-ion battery. But, is battery manufacturing viable in South Africa?

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