News of the multi-million-investment decision and its implications for the country, and especially the Eastern Cape, will be officially announced by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) at the launch of the national electric vehicle technology centre at the university in March.
eNtsa, NMMU’s award-winning technology station, was selected by Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to facilitate the establishment of a centre which will develop infrastructure, research, technology and competencies needed for the future new generation vehicles.
“Experts anticipate that 10% of the world’s vehicles will be powered by alternative energy sources by 2020, so it imperative that South Africa is not left behind but starts working towards this new future,” says eNtsa’s Dirk Odendaal, who will be coordinating the establishment of the new hub.
“We’re thrilled that NMMU will be playing such an integral role that the future of electric cars.”
NMMU was selected by TIA, established by the government to enhance socio-economic benefits in the field of technology and innovation, because of its “outstanding track record”.
Last year eNtsa, whose tag line is innovation through engineering, won a number of accolades for its internationally-patented Weld Core® technology, which is already saving industry millions of rands.
“eNtsa, with over 20 engineers spanning across mechanical , electro-mechnical, and electrical, is a world-class TIA technology station out of the 16, and given the strategic geographic location of NMMU (within the heart of the automotive sector) and the relationship that eNtsa already has developed with the automotive sector, it seemed appropriate to locate the hub of this programme at NMMU,” said Dr Tsakani Mthombeni, General Manager: Energy Sector at TIA.
The presence of Nelson Mandela Bay’s automotive industry was also considered, along with need to improve the economy with the possible creation of a new industry for the area, when choosing the right site for the new centre.
“We will not be replacing what is already in existence in terms of research throughout the country but rather facilitating and identifying what is still needed to take this industry forward,” said Mr Odendaal, Director: New Business and Commercialisation at eNtsa.
Initially the team will focus on stakeholder engagement to ensure that important role players are given the opportunity to get involved in such an exciting project.
“So far the feedback has been very positive. Industry wants to get involved. Renewable energy and being kinder to our environment is the future. Electric vehicles and e-mobility will radically change our industries and challenge our current perception of transportation.
“We’re just so proud to be tasked and honoured to be part of this programme that has the potential to advance our society,” said Mr Odendaal.