by Gugu Lourie
Volkswagen has taken the first step in its journey towards electric mobility in South Africa through the launch of the e-Golf pilot project.
The e-Golf pilot project will see six fully electric vehicles being tested by motoring and lifestyle media, selected dealers as well as Volkswagen employees in an effort to gain valuable consumer insights into the varying experiences of driving and living with an electric vehicle in South Africa.
Through the involvement of selected Volkswagen dealers in Gauteng and Western Cape, the e-Golf pilot project seeks to drive customer awareness and education regarding electric vehicles. The e-Golfs will be used as shuttles and courtesy cars for Volkswagen customers.
“At Volkswagen, we want to democratise electric mobility and that is why the e-Golf pilot project is a key initiative for the brand. With the help of our dealers, we want to get as many South Africans as possible to drive and experience an electric vehicle as this is the future of our brand,” said Mike Glendinning, Sales and Marketing Director for Volkswagen Group South Africa.
The e-Golf pilot project includes charging infrastructure installed in Volkswagen’s Uitenhage manufacturing plant and as well as the Dealer Training Academy in Centurion, Gauteng.
The e-Golf pilot project is the first step of a three-phase approach which will pave the way for Volkswagen to include electric vehicles in its future product portfolio in South Africa. The second phase will be expanded to include a fleet of fully electric Volkswagen ID.3 vehicles from 2021.
The third and last phase of the electric mobility project will see the first fully electric Volkswagen vehicles available for sale to customers in South Africa from 2022.
The e-Golf as well as the ID.3 will not be available for sale in South Africa and will be used solely for the purposes of ensuring as many South Africans as possible get to experience life with an electric vehicle.