The uYilo Kick Start Fund has opened for applications for 2021, with successful companies or entrepreneurs to receive up to R1-million in grant funding, aimed at assisting promising e-mobility projects to reach commercialisation.
The uYilo eMobility Programme first provided Kick Start funding to qualifying e-mobility and related projects in 2014.
The fund was created as part of uYilo's mandate to enable, facilitate and mobilise e-mobility in South Africa.
“The switch to electric mobility is changing the transport landscape globally,” says uYilo director Hiten Parmar.
“A critical part of this transition for South Africa is to have localised content, promote local industry and encourage local job creation.
“This is both to reduce the reliance on imported technology and products, and to extract the maximum benefit from the minerals and other resources that are abundant in Africa.”
“Creating employment opportunities is a crucial part of improving the economy, and jobs in future growth sectors with emerging technology are highly desirable,” adds Parmar.
“The aim for all Kick Start funded projects is to facilitate the development to commercially viable products, with associated job creation.”
All projects in the e-mobility ecosystem and value chain are welcome to apply, says Parmar.
Previous approved projects include the development of electric vehicle (EV) charge points, EV back-office solutions, battery packs and EV system components, among others.
“Golden Arrow Bus Service in Cape Town is currently piloting an electric bus which will soon be open to public use,” says Parmar.
“This project was one of the most recent to receive uYilo Kick Start funding and started as a detailed public transport feasibility study, which has now progressed to the pilot phase.
"With the global push to electric mobility, there is a limited lifespan to the internal combustion engine (ICE), and this will have an impact locally,” notes Parmar.
“There is perhaps a decade left internationally for ICEs and South Africa has only that long to ensure our local e-mobility sector is market-ready.”
Application forms and other relevant documentation for the Kick Start Fund are available on the uYilo website, at https://www.uyilo.org.za/kick-start-fund/.
Applications must be received by June 30, 12:00.