Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi on Friday lunched the Electronic Cargo Bike (e-cargo bike) pilot project.
Speaking at the launch held at the Innovation Hub in Tshwane, Vadi said the cargo ebike is a game changer for the transport industry.
“It provides us with another mode of transport – a low cost entry into the transport sector that can support micro-enterprises,” said the MEC, adding that the project gives South Africans an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint by shifting from petrol to electric propulsion.
The project is a partnership between the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in Germany.
“It empowers us to manufacture locally and by doing so to further our national interests through import replacement. The cargo ebike is a small step forward towards reindustrialisation,” he said.
The cargo ebike was introduced in Sharpeville as part of a partnership with Non-Profit-Organisation, SKDP, based in the area and the CSIR.
Vadi said the ebike was welcomed with great enthusiasm.
“The pilot which we will be conducting in the community will give us information on the feasibility of using the bike in a township setting. The bike will be fitted with a GPS that will give us data showing its ruggedness, safety and mileage covered in terms of its business model.”
The launch of the cargo ebike is the culmination of a project which has been a work-in-progress for over 12 months.
The MEC said the project will require a regulatory framework on cargo ebikes