Jaguar South Africa has announced that it is rolling out 82 new public charging stations for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles across South Africa, effectively linking up the country's major cities.
The network of charging stations, which the local arm of the British brand says will be built “in partnership with electric vehicle charging authority GridCars”, is expected to be fully operational by the end of November 2018.
The news comes ahead of the local launch of Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle, the new I-Pace, which is scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2019.
The R30-million infrastructure investment will include publicly available charging stations in customer parking areas at every Jaguar Land Rover retailer in South Africa, plus 30 public charging stations at “various points of convenience” in the country’s major hubs.
Interestingly, the firm says that South Africa’s city centres will be connected by what it terms the “Jaguar Powerway”, a series of 22 charging stations along the N3 between Gauteng and Durban and the N1 between Gauteng and Cape Town. In addition, Cape Town will be connected to the Garden Route with a series of charging stations along the N2 through to East London.
Jaguar SA says the majority of charging stations will use 60 kWh fast chargers, which it claims would result in 100 km of range in about 20 minutes for I-Pace owners. A charge from zero to 80 percent, meanwhile, would take “around 72 minutes”.
Every charging station will also be equipped with a 22 kWh AC fast charger to accommodate plug-in hybrid vehicles. Here, there will be an AC standard Type 2 socket as well as a DC charger fitted with the CCS DC type socket.
The company explains that Jaguar Land Rover owners will use an RFID (radio-frequency identification) card to activate the charging station and manage electricity billing to the card. Cards can be credited with EFT payments, much like cellphone airtime top-ups. Interestingly, charging station electricity rates will be discounted by 25 percent for Jaguar Land Rover owners.
"As Jaguar, we are proud to be setting the pace for the new generation of electric vehicles in South Africa. The launch of the Jaguar Powerway demonstrates our commitment to electrification technology and the future of mobility in our market. This new network provides peace of mind to our Jaguar I-Pace customers who can now experience more of their world with less range restrictions," said Richard Gouverneur, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa.