The newly launched cargo e-bike can provide the province of Gauteng with another mode of transport – a low cost entry into the transport sector that can support micro-enterprises, says MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi.
“It empowers us to manufacture locally and by doing so to further our national interests through import replacement. The cargo e-bike is a small step forward towards reindustrialisation,” Vadi said.
Addressing the launch of the e-cargo bike at the Sharpeville Precinct on Tuesday, he said the cargo e-bike also gives the province an opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint by shifting from petrol to electric propulsion.
The six months, e-bike pilot project was launched in a partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the SKDP, a non-profit-organisation based in Sharpeville.
The MEC said the partnership with SKDP will empower both the organisation and the community at large.
The project has been in the making over the past year.
“At the heart of the success of this project has been the growing partnership between the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in Germany,” Vadi said.
The launch of the project is the outcome of the Joint Declaration of Intent signed between the former German Vice-Minister and the provincial department.
The cargo e-bikes will remain the property of SKDP collective after the pilot has run its course.
“The pilot study will give us information on the feasibility of using the e-bike in a township setting. The e-bike will be fitted with a GPS and each rider will have a mobile phone to track the bikes and provide data showing its ruggedness, safety and mileage covered in terms of its business model,” Vadi said.
He said each rider will provide daily performance reports of the bike and the challenges faced on the road.