Global environmental challenges
Kenyan blogger Juliana Rotich is the editor of Green Global Voices, which monitors citizen media in the developing world, and is a regular contributor to this page. ThomsonReuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.
South African bloggers were among the first to report on South Africa’s first electric car. On the blog Urbansprout, Glen was among the first people to post pictures of the car and detail on the Optimal Energy, the company that made the car, as well as the designer, design specifications and expected availability dates.
Battery range has previously been the biggest limiting factor with electric cars, but that looks set to change. The Joule will sport two lithium ion battery packs that will ensure the car has a range of 400km. The recharge time will be approximately 7 hours so it can be charged over night. Regenerative braking, where the battery is charged by the energy generated in braking, will add to the car’s range.
As for where the car will be manufactured, Glen notes that:
Predictions are that 50 percent of the Joule’s materials will be local and that it should be available towards the end of 2010 at a cost of R200 000. It is likely to be manufactured in Gauteng, but will also be available in Durban and Cape Town.