Exploring Smarter Mobility for Africa in Johannesburg

I spent last week in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the continent’s first major Smarter Mobility Conference, hosted by Generation.e. Especially as Africa’s youth population continues to grow, smart transportation solutions are key to addressing the ever-growing pains of mobility, air pollution, congestion, safety and productivity.

I was specifically at the conference to speak about some of my research which explores how electrified transportation could be a boon to local utilities, soaking up power supply and providing grid services. In my opinion, clean energy and smart transportation are two sides of the same coin. I also had the honor of hosting the Innovation Pitch Competition, where local entrepreneurs across southern Africa pitched their startups to a panel of judges. There were all sorts of new apps, new vehicles and new local fuels, each truly inspiring and aimed at a different mobility challenge.

On top of all that, we got to test drive all the latest EVs coming onto the market, from the BMW i3 to the Jaguar iPACE. What a week! The technology is here, the innovative spirit is here, the demand is here. We really need incentives and enabling policy to get on board quickly! See a summary of the week above.