Assets and “Know-How” From Joule Project Being Used At NMMU

OCTOBER 15, 2014

The assets and “know-how” from the electric car Joule project have been used by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to set up a product development and texting platform at NMMU “to support local component manufacturing,” Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor has told the National Assembly.

Replying to a written question, the Minister said that her department and its agencies, the TIA and Innovation Fund had invested a total of R128 million towards research, development and pre-commercialisation requirements of the Joule.

An additional R119 million had been invested by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in pre-commercialisation activities for the electronic car that was to have been constructed in the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ).

Pandor explained that to take the project to commercialisation “major capital investments and government policy interventions were required”.

She said that the government agencies responsible for the commercialisation and industrialisation actions for the Joule had decided, after review and evaluation, not to proceed to commercialisation, adding that this decision had been based on a number of factors, including TIA’s and IDC’s unsuccessful attempts to raise capital investment of R10 billion.

Other factors, Pandor said, were the failure to attract a strategic equity partner for the initiative and the “low adoption rate of electric vehicles globally”.

She said her department had contributed to Trade and Industry’s development of the electric car roadmap, which sought to develop the country’s technical capabilities and also provided different investment incentives for the electric vehicle industry

Pandor said the tangible assets of the project, the Joule prototypes and battery testing infrastructure, were part of the uYilo Mobility programme, which focuses on electro-mobility technology research at NMMU, together with relevant experts. - MetroMinutes.

 

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