MBDA electrifies service delivery

Issued by Mandela Bay Development
Johannesburg, Aug 28, 2019

When one looks at the prevailing trends in the automotive industry nowadays, most of them have the same common denominator and that is going green. The increasing awareness about saving the planet from various environmental threats has caused even the largest industries to take a stand so they can contribute to the initiative instead of making matters worse. As such, the Mandela Bay Development Agency has had to develop innovative ways and measures of going green, while paying special attention to future perspective.

As part of the e-Mobility Technology Innovation Programme (EMTIP), the MBDA, in collaboration with uYilo eMobility Programme based at the Nelson Mandela University, embarked on a project to introduce and promote the concept of electro-mobility, a phrase referring to alternative electric-based modes of transportation designed to shift vehicle design away from the use of fossil fuels and carbon gas emissions. The national uYilo eMobility Programme was established in 2013 as an initiative of the Technology Innovation Agency to enable, facilitate and mobilise electric mobility in South Africa.

"The introduction of e-mobility into the MBDA was achieved through the conversion of the agency's two tuk-tuks, which have been modified and converted to battery powered units with solar panel augmentation. The conversion entailed matching the performance of the tuk-tuks' combustion configuration making them compliant for on-road usage," said Luvuyo Bangazi, MBDA spokesperson.

Bangazi adds: "Our focus and approach involve partnering with strategic stakeholders to solve future problems. Same as we did with the new generation composite materials use in the construction of the Baakens pedestrian bridge, e-mobility offers a comprehensive ecosystem of products and services generated within Nelson Mandela Bay. It is about leveraging locally engineered technology and innovation.

"The MBDA as a special purpose vehicle of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has the responsibility to work with partners towards stimulating economic growth. We do this by collaborating with partners to champion innovative projects that support the Bay's position as the headquarters of the automotive sector and positioning the Bay at the cutting edge of innovation.

"The future role of e-mobility is also the promotion of sustainable eco-tourism for locals and visitors by connecting sites of natural and cultural value using electric vehicles. The vehicles of the future target zero carbon emissions and a reduction in pollution. In future, e-mobility will become the norm just as e-mail has surpassed postage."

These newly converted electric vehicles have a range of 60 kilometres when fully charged. They are licensed and will be deployed in the CBD to effectively support the movement of MBDA Town Rangers in bylaw enforcement and informal trading regulation. Citizens better watch out because these vehicles move quietly, and they might just sneak up on unsuspecting would-be bylaw infringers.