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EV charging infrastructure launched at ACSA airports

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Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has collaborated with BMW SA to introduce electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across three of ACSA’s airports in SA.

From today, EV drivers accessing the OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport will be able to use the BMW ChargeNow stations based at the parking bays at the airports.

OR Tambo International and Cape Town International Airport will each have two ChargeNow stations that accommodate up to four cars each, while King Shaka International Airport has one ChargeNow station, able to charge two cars at a time.

Speaking at the launch event held at OR Tambo International Airport this morning, ACSA’s acting CEO, Fundi Sithebe, said the launch was motivated by a combination of contributing to low carbon emissions policies and supporting innovation, in the digital economy.

“Our airports continue to break new ground in terms of innovation and the introduction of infrastructure that seeks to enhance the passenger experience.

“We are delighted to launch the first EV charging stations at African airports. These charging bays will reduce the number one concern most EV drivers have, which is range anxiety. From today, BMW EV users will drive to and from our three airports with comfort because while they travel, we will be charging their vehicles.”

The airports are the first in Africa to launch public charging infrastructure, according to Sithebe. The roll out is part of ACSA’s 2020 vision to achieve an airport of the future in line with the requirements of the fourth industrial revolution, to capitalise on the use of emerging technologies.

The news stations are located at prominent areas and can be found at OR Tambo International Airport’s Parkade 2 South, level 2; Cape Town International Airport, on the ground floor of Parkade 1 and at King Shaka International Airport, on Level ‘0’ of the Multi-Storey Parkade.

This brings the number of BMW ChargeNow stations across the country to 60, six of which are shared with Nissan.

According to charging infrastructure mapping Web site PlugShare, the local public charging network currently consists of 134 charging stations.

Almost a thousand EVs have been sold in SA to date – indicating a 167% increase since January 2018. However, the pace is much slower than in other parts of the globe.

BMW says it has sold 140 000 EVs since 2017 globally, and it is working to ensure that by 2021 it has 25% of EV models on the roads.

As part of the partnership with BMW SA, ACSA will cover all electricity costs associated with the charging stations for a period of 12 months from date of launch.

Additionally, BMW EV drivers will enjoy free parking (for a maximum of four days at a time) at the three airports during the month of November.

Also speaking at the event, Tim Abbott, CEO of BMW Group SA & Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “These new ChargeNow stations in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are physical manifestations of the seismic change our industry is going through.

“We’ve been rolling out charging infrastructure across the country since we launched the BMW i3 and BMW i8 in 2015, and these charging points take our tally of BMW ChargeNow charging points to more than 60.”

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