The Free State in South Africa plans to create a network of solar-powered EV charging stations with $234 million investment by 2025, in partnership with Zero Carbon Charge, aiming for socio-economic growth and clean energy solutions.

The project plans to establish 120 charging stations across the province, with 75 stations dedicated to passenger vehicles and 45 for electric trucks. The Free State’s initiative not only aims to provide off-grid EV charging solutions but also to stimulate socio-economic growth through job creation and skill development in the clean energy sector.

Key Benefits and Features

Solar-Powered Independence: The charging stations will be powered exclusively by solar energy, allowing them to operate independently of South Africa’s national power grid. This design is particularly advantageous given the country’s frequent power outages and aligns with national environmental goals to reduce reliance on coal-powered electricity.

Environmental Impact: By utilizing solar power, the charging stations will offer a sustainable and emission-free alternative to the current electricity supply provided by Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power company. This move supports broader environmental objectives and reduces the carbon footprint of the EV charging process.

Economic and Social Growth: Free State Minister Thabo Meeko highlighted the project’s potential to drive socio-economic growth by creating jobs and fostering skill development within the clean energy sector. The initiative is expected to benefit 13 municipalities within the Free State, making EV charging more accessible to a broader population.

Strategic Vision

ZCC’s vision extends beyond the Free State, with plans to develop a national network of 240 renewable energy-powered charging stations to serve both passenger and commercial electric vehicles. This project is a crucial step in preparing South Africa for a future where electric vehicles could comprise a significant share of new car sales by 2030.

The Free State province’s investment in solar-powered EV charging stations marks a significant milestone in South Africa’s journey towards sustainable electric mobility. By leveraging renewable energy, the initiative promises to enhance environmental sustainability, support economic growth, and pave the way for widespread adoption of electric vehicles in the region.

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