According to local authorities, electric carmaker and battery company Tesla is set to open its first office on the continent in South Africa.
Rumors have been swirling for a while and now Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has confirmed that Tesla will open an office in the city. Elon Musk, founder and CEO of the company, was born in South Africa, writes Siyabonga Sesant for Eyewitness News.
Tesla could offer solutions to African energy issues
Since its formation in 2003 Tesla has gone from strength to strength, becoming a world leader in its field. The company has recently broken into the home battery market in addition to manufacturing electric vehicles.
The Tesla Powerwall is a home battery that is charged using energy from the sun, and De Lille believes that the company’s work in the field is important.
“Some of the products will be in the country in the next month. It’s just going to add to the energy solutions that we are looking for. We are very grateful that he has chosen Cape Town as the first base in Africa.”
South African office to offer home energy systems rather than vehicles
The office is set to provide energy storage solutions to consumers and businesses in South Africa. Previous reports stated that the office will be run by Evan Rice, CEO of GreenCape, an organization which works to promote renewable energy.
“Tesla will have one employee here from mid-January,” Rice told htxt.africa, “But if we can find some solid business cases and get them going we will be expanding.”
As it stands the focus will be on providing home energy solutions rather than bringing Tesla vehicles into South Africa.
“We have no plans to enter the market in South Africa in the short term. While it is Tesla’s intention to be present eventually in nearly all countries, it will take some time to get there: we simply do not have the resources to tackle all challenges at the same time,” Tesla told BusinessTech in December 2015.
The solar energy solutions look set to prove popular in South Africa, and negotiations are underway which would allow Powerpack owners to sell excess energy to the national grid.