Tesla, the US company that specialises in electric vehicles, energy storage and solar panel manufacturing, is hugely excited about the opportunities available to it in sub-Saharan Africa.
Tesla opened an office in the V&A Waterfront about two years ago that is focused exclusively on the company’s energy storage products.
Sources close to Tesla confirmed on Friday that the company had made some significant early inroads in the region, both in terms of the number of different countries it had penetrated, and some of the exciting projects it had managed to secure.
But the source declined to provide details of specific projects Telsa was involved in, or countries where it was active.
Although Tesla had projects in South Africa, it had far more projects in neighbouring countries, the source said. It added that Tesla currently had about 20 contracted projects in southern Africa which were evenly spread across the entire sub- Saharan Africa region.
Energy storage was expected to start growing and booming in the region, with Tesla securing a large share of this core market, because of the sustainability of its Powerpack and Powerwall products, the source said.
Tesla had created limited job opportunities in South Africa since opening its office in the region, and the major employment opportunities would be among installers and engineering, procurement and commissioning developer companies.
Energy products offered by Tesla currently are its Powerwall for residential and small-scale commercial markets, and its Powerpack products in the commercial, industrial and utility markets. However, there are plans to expand this product line-up to include others from its portfolio, including solar roof tiles. Powerwall, a stationary, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, stores electricity generated from solar panels.
Powerpack was suitable for use during peak shaving (reducing power consumption during periods of maximum demand), load shifting, backup power, demand response, microgrids, renewable power integration, frequency regulation and voltage control.
Tesla is not believed to have any immediate plans to introduce its electric vehicles to the southern African market.
Source: Business Report