This event also celebrated electric vehicle infrastructure and the City's partnership with Nissan
Today, the City of Tshwane and Nissan South Africa hosted a green mile – a convoy of electric vehicles (EVs) – to celebrate EV infrastructure in Tshwane and to commemorate the end of Women's Month. Attendees toured several of the 32 EV charging locations that are available in Tshwane, travelling in an environmentally friendly fashion in Nissan Leaf vehicles. Both Nissan and the City of Tshwane have committed to taking climate action and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Councillor Solly Msimanga, said: "Approximately 28 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent are emitted per year within the City of Tshwane and just less than a fifth stem from transport-related emissions. As such, the City is exploring every possible measure to reduce this footprint, including transitioning to cleaner mobility. The municipality believes investing in electric vehicles is a strong endorsement of these vehicles."
In 2015, the City purchased ten Nissan Leaf vehicles as a bold step towards incorporating electric vehicles into its fleet. The City has two solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations and is entering into a partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) to expedite the implementation of electric vehicle infrastructure in Tshwane.
Councillor Msimanga also said: "Nissan is regarded as a key stakeholder of the City with a strong presence in Rosslyn, the City's hub for the automobile industry and a priority economic sector. We're proud to partner with Nissan to manifest our vision for low-carbon mobility in the City."
Hiten Parmar, as the director of the uYilo eMobility Technology Innovation Programme at Nelson Mandela University, has spent years working with multiple stakeholders to accelerate the development and commercialisation of electric mobility in South Africa. He commented that, "Global vehicle manufacturers like Nissan are investing their 100% electric vehicles into South Africa. Enabling zero-emission transport within the country will lead to a positive contribution in improving air quality in our cities, and in the long-term, positively impacting life expectancy, especially within our highly traffic-congested cities."
Nissan and the City of Tshwane are both members of the Tshwane Green Forum of the Automobile Industry Development Centre (AIDC), which is a quarterly forum that addresses sustainability in the automobile industry. In addition, Nissan sponsors several of the City's key events, such as the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum and Sustainability Week.
The Nissan Leaf was the first electric vehicle in South Africa, and it has since led the way in establishing and educating the local market about electric vehicle mobility. The next generation of Nissan Leaf vehicles will be introduced globally in September.
The idea for the two parties to host a green mile event in August was driven by both organisations' dedication to women. In the male-dominated automotive industry, Nissan finds gender diversity to be a competitive advantage. In fact, the organisation has a 50/50 intake of male and female graduates. By starting at the graduate level, Nissan believes that it will maximise the strengths of the female workforce and add value to the customer experience.
The green mile route included the Union Buildings in tribute to the women who marched there in 1956 to protest against the pass laws.