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BMW iX sets new record for cross-country travel by an EV in SA

Last week a team led by motoring journalists Justus Visagie and Ernest Page ventured out to set a new record for South African cross-country travel by a battery-powered electric vehicle (EV). The team travelled between Cape Town and Johannesburg, using the BMW iX to do so.

Tracking them and the car on their journey was Netstar, with the company noting that it took 20 hours, 17 minutes and 10 seconds to travel from BMW Cape Town City on Herzog Boulevard at 19:00 on 28th June, to BMW Johannesburg City in Braamfontein.

Some of the interesting data captured during the journey saw the team achieving a total driving time of 14 hours, 56 minutes and 21 seconds, which they completed over seven legs with the BMW iX.

The vehicle maintained an average speed of 94km/h, with Netstar confirming that 1 404 total kilometres were driven.

As mentioned, the team stopped to charge on six occasions. The charging stations were located in Worcester, Laingsburg, Beaufort West, Richmond, Colesberg and Bloemfontein. In total, the vehicle spent 5 hours, 33 minutes and 19 seconds topping up its battery before venture on the next leg of its journey.

“This journey has provided interesting insights for long-distance, electric-vehicle travel in South Africa. Justus, Ernest and the team have shown what current electric vehicles can achieve – even on the ‘up journey’ from the coast to 1 700m altitude in Johannesburg in the middle of winter,” highlights Netstar executive for Sales, Nicky Sheridan, in a press release sent to Hypertext.

“Netstar tracking and data science was used to gather insights throughout the attempt, and we are really proud to be part of this initiative,” added Sheridan.

While there are a number of EV options available to local motorists, a variety of hurdles still remain and present a barrier to entry in owning one of these vehicles. This is something that the Netstar executive acknowledges, but adds that there is capacity for more EVs on our roads, provided the necessary infrastructure is created.

“The journey from Cape Town to Joburg is the benchmark long road trip that any South African is likely to make. The data confirms that it is now possible to complete that journey in around 20 hours, using battery-electric technology, even allowing for stops, recharging and driver changes,” concludes Sheridan.

With the gauntlet thrown down, it will be interesting to see whether other carmakers will look to beat the newly set record.

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