Cape Town Launches Free Electric Car Charging Station

The City of Cape Town has launched its first public electric vehicle (EV) charging station, situated in the parking area of the Bellville Civic Centre.

This is the first of two solar-powered EV charging stations that will be offered free-of-charge for the first two years to members of the public, the city said.

The sites were chosen because of their convenient, safe and visible locations and the chargers were donated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

“Transport is the second biggest contributor to the carbon intensity of Cape Town’s economy. This is exacerbated by urban sprawl and the long distances freight has to travel over a country as large as South Africa.

“Increased congestion and inefficiencies not only increase the city’s transport-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), largely driving climate change, they worsen air quality and contribute to adverse health impacts on residents,” the city said.

How it works:

  • A motorist with an EV drives up to the charging station. Depending on the car, reversing into the space may provide the best access to the charger;
  • Limitless charging is offered and the car’s charge card will be required to start the charge;
  • Using their own cable, users will connect the cable to the charger and then to the car. This initiates the charge. Users can then simply lock their car and attend to other business. The system will be secure and the cable cannot be released. Unlocking the car will stop the charge and release the cable;
  • The length of charge required will depend on the car and charge cable. But it takes roughly three hours to charge the battery from close to 0% to 80% for this particular 22 kW Dual AC charger;
  • How long a charge lasts will depend on the car and driving style. A three-hour charge can last roughly 150km depending on which vehicle one uses;
  • The charging stations will be closed at night.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the devastating economic impact that global crises can have and has shown that planning for climate resilience and reducing emissions is increasingly important,” said the city’s Phindile Maxiti.

“This kind of proactive response to climate change will also assist our city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as the green economy offers new opportunities for businesses and jobseekers.

“It also helps to ensure that the local economy can continue to trade competitively in a global world that is rapidly rejecting carbon-intensive goods and services.”


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].