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uYilo to scale e-mobility projects after EU funding deal

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Hiten Parmar, director of the uYilo e-Mobility Programme.
Hiten Parmar, director of the uYilo e-Mobility Programme.

The uYilo eMobility Programme has received multimillion-rand funding from the European Union, which it says will be used to enable and mobilise electric mobility across Africa.

The uYilo Electric Mobility Programme was established in 2013 as a multi-stakeholder collaboration focused on enabling, facilitating and mobilising electric mobility in SA.

It is an initiative of the Technology Innovation Agency, a public entity of the Department of Science and Innovation.

According to uYilo, the new funding falls within the Smart Energy Solutions for Africa (SESA) project that forms part of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for “Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: Research and innovation”, established in support of the European Green Deal.

It forms part of the €9.9 million (R183 million) funding recently awarded to SESA project partners for the next four years.

SESA is a collaborative project under Horizon 2020 − the biggest EU research and innovation programme created to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs, with an emphasis on science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.

The SESA project was created to improve access to sustainable energy under affordable, reliable conditions − while mitigating climate change. uYilo’s funding is a portion within this overall funding.

Hiten Parmar, director of uYilo, says the funding will be channelled towards enabling energy access technologies and business models to be developed for replication throughout Africa, and to improve access to sustainable green energy on the continent.

“Global technology advancements can contribute and leapfrog developing markets. Under the SESA project, the outputs aim to be affordable and sustainable energy access solutions, while contributing to low carbon development and climate change mitigation that can be refined for deployment throughout Africa,” notes Parmar.

“uYilo has already been working on many of these advancing technologies, as demonstrated within our facilities, which extend across electric mobility solutions, micro-grids with solar photovoltaic energy generation and repurposed batteries from electric vehicles utilised for grid energy storage.”

The SESA project is the result of strong partnerships with leading European and African organisations, industry actors, local governments, knowledge and implementation organisations and networks, including the uYilo eMobility Programme.

The uYilo eMobility Programme has played an important role in helping SA’s auto market transition into electric mobility, a trend currently shaping the transport landscape globally.

Among its many projects, the organisation runs a funding vehicle, the uYilo Kick Start Fund. It was created in 2014, as part of uYilo's mandate to support e-mobility-related products or services development, by providing an agile mechanism to fund applied research and development to enable, facilitate and accelerate e-mobility in SA.

Through the funding, it has supported several projects, including electric vehicle (EV) charge points across SA, EV back-office solution projects, battery packs and EV system components.

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