City of Johannesburg Electric Vehicle Readiness Support Programme

The project supported the implementation of the ‘electrification of passenger vehicles’ and ‘decarbonising the grid’ work streams of the City of Joburg’s Climate Action Plan. SEA's primary goal in this project was to build the capacity of City officials in order to be EV ready.

Phase 1 of the project (Jan-Dec 2021) recognised that EV-readiness required a deep understanding of the technical abilities of the City to plan for an EV future in terms of the provision of infrastructure and the setting of fair yet attractive tariffs. Therefore, planning for EV uptake within the city needed careful consideration of the technical components of the grid and the business of selling electricity. It also required the City to determine the applicability of EVs for different vehicles and end-uses.

This phase had a particular focus on assessing the feasibility of electric minibus taxis (e-taxis) and solar-powered EV charging stations. With an emphasis on gender equality and social inclusion, the project seeks to make the case for EV-related business models that the City can support.

In addition to this being a highly technical, new, and rapidly-evolving space, planning required bringing together several departments to work together. Therefore, the project team worked with the key stakeholders to ensure that all parties have a common vision and are equipped with the fundamental knowledge required to have productive planning discussions and understand the trade-offs and constraints each group faces.

Phase 2 of the programme deepened the capacity of key stakeholders in the City of Johannesburg to accelerate the transition to electric mobility, while also learning from, and sharing learnings with, the City of Cape Town. This phase informed municipal policy responses for a just transition to EVs through consultative collaboration with government and industry stakeholders, as well as targeted research, informed by stakeholder needs.

The research and extensive stakeholder engagement and consultation undertaken through both project phases unearthed key mechanisms of how the transition to EVs will impact at the local level and the actions that a local municipality can take to mitigate negative impacts, enable the transition, and ensure that the transition is just. All learnings were disseminated, not only to the key beneficiary (City of Jo’burg), but also to a wider network of local municipal officials.

The local government voice was pulled through into national policy and processes through collaboration with the National Department of Transport, both through interactive workshops as well as direct comment into national policy and guideline documents. EV policy considerations were captured in a policy brief.

Funder: UK PACT (Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions)

Timeline: January 2021 – December 2022

Project Team: Zanie Cilliers, Josh Dippenaar, Tanaka Shumba-Mukudu, Joel Nana, Megan Euston-Brown, Senamile Sishi, Simisha Pather-Elias