Green Cab set to roll out more than 200 electric vehicles

A Green Cab electric vehicle. Picture: Supplied

A Green Cab electric vehicle. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 8, 2024


Cape Town - A local taxi service expected to empower women and provide alternative transport is set to roll out 230 electric vehicles within the next five years.

The Green Cab, owned by four women, will own and operate 60 of the cars - 30 in Cape Town, 20 in Johannesburg and 10 in Durban, while the rest will be operated by female franchises.

Co-founder and managing director, Amiene van der Merwe, said rides will cost R15.50 per km, with a minimum base fare set at R75.

“We will price this initially at Uber Black type price range.

“It is a premier service, not because electricity is expensive.

“It costs at least 70% less to operate an electric vehicle as opposed to an Internal Combustion Engines(ICE) vehicle.

“Strictly speaking, we should be asking less because our operation costs are lower.

“However, we do not have price parity between ICE and electric vehicles yet,” she said.

The estimated range of a Volvo EX-30 is up to 480km before it needs charging.

Van der Merwe cars would need to be charged once a day.

“(Load shedding) is not an issue. We just need to top up, which is from a DC fast charger.

“We’ll have dedicated DC fast charges for our use only where our drivers will top up once a day.

“One does not make a battery go down more than 20% and you top it back up to 80%, which will take you 20 minutes.

“Corporates will be our target market,” she said.

Professor David Walwyn of the UP Graduate School of Technology Management at the University of Pretoria said the initiative was a positive step for the transport industry.

“Decarbonisation of this sector is critical for its sustainability over the long term.

“They are going to be in the front tear and breaking new ground and of course, there’s always risks with that.

“I am sure that the company has worked on the business model and is convinced that it will work.

“It will be a challenge since liquid fuel for high daily mileages is still the cheapest and most practical option,” he said.

Regarding load shedding, he added: “It is unlikely that the fleet will draw power from the grid. The energy requirement will probably be obtained from an independent power producer (IPP) or else an in-house system”.

Energy Mayco member, Beverley van Reene, said the City was moving towards a future transport system based on zero-emissions and primarily electrically powered vehicles.

“Electric mobility, or eMobility, uses electrically-powered modes of transport such as electric vehicles (EVs), as a first step in the technology change towards this future transport system.

“Adoption of EV technology and eMobility are also key focus areas in the city's climate change response,” she said.