Electric Cars in South Africa

It was reported that 'delegates to the COP17 global climate conference travel in zero emission vehicles. For the first time ever, a fleet of mass-produced, zero-emission vehicles have taken to the streets of Africa'. A dozen electric cars from the Renault-Nissan Alliance will be providing a zero-emission shuttle services for delegates at the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa (better known as COP17). This was to highlight the benefits of green transportation and try to bring home messages about climate change and the need to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Shuttles were provided by the Nissan LEAF and the Renault Fluence ZE which are also being made available for test drives. Africa as a whole is one of the continents predicted most likely to feel the impacts of projected climate change. So whilst current electric car designs (at current prices) are not on the agenda for your average African, getting the message across to conference delegates, especially those from more affluent (and generally more carbon intensive) countries is no bad thing. The report claims that South Africa 'aims to become the continent’s leader in clean-energy generation. The country hopes to build one of the world’s biggest solar power plants – an ambitious effort that would increase access to electricity while simultaneously reducing the region’s dependence on fossil fuels. Giant mirrors and solar panels would dot the Northern Cape province, which ranks in the sunniest 3 percent of regions worldwide.

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