In anticipation of the arrival of more fully electric vehicles, the 4Wheels Motor Group in Mahikeng installed its first charging station at its multi-franchise retail operations in the North-West capital city.
Not only a first for the group’s dealerships that include the likes of Hyundai, Nissan, Mitsubishi, FAW, and JAC, but it is also a first for Mahikeng and a first in the wider region in this northern part of the province.
The charging station was installed by GridCars and consists of a 30 kW DC and a 22 kW AC charger.
“We are very excited about this development as most of our brands will, in the foreseeable future, introduce fully electric vehicles into the South African market,” says Uys de Villiers, Sales Manager at 4Wheels Hyundai Mahikeng and the person overseeing its operational side.
“It is also an important point to ‘fill up’ for owners of EVs travelling to and through this region. We were surprised when our first customer who regularly travels through here, popped in to recharge his EV.
“The GridCars app on the phone shows all the charging stations and the distance between them, making life easier for owners of this type of vehicle. We also have an EV at the multi-franchise that we use,” Uys tells Dealerfloor.
He says owing to regular power issues in Mahikeng above the “normal” load-shedding problems, the multi-franchise installed a solar system as back-up. “We have detuned the quick charging option of the charging station to fit in with our solar power delivery and to be able to provide a 24-hour charging option to EV owners.
“A vehicle can be filled from zero to full within three hours and obviously in a shorter space of time depending on the charge level of the battery. You pay with a special card by tapping it at the station. The BMW iX3 we use at the dealerships totals about R250 for a complete full charge providing a range of between 350 km and 400 km,” Uys tells Dealerfloor.
“We believe to be pro-active and anyone with an electric vehicle can use this state-of-the-art facility. Our eye is on the future, and we all know EVs will play a bigger role and volumes will increase exponentially in the future. We are prepared,” Uys says.
Since 1996, Mike Pieterse has been fighting the good fight in Kuruman in the Northern Cape at the helm of M&I Motors in this isolated part of the country.
The Eastern Cape will benefit from a major expansion drive by Mahindra in the province with three new dealerships waiting in the wings.
Volvo Trucks & Buses Johannesburg scooped up the top award as the 2023 Mega Dealer of the Year during the truck manufacturer’s Dealer of the Year awards.