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Joule - South Africa's first electric car

Updated on November 24, 2011

South Africa's Electric car The Joule to be sold on world market

 The Joule is a working prototype which has now been approved for production on the world market as soon as end 2012. The Joule is the creation of the green folk at Optimal Energy and is a dream come true for the young South African company to have such a successfull product as the Joule from an early undertaking.

The Joule Electric CAR

The Joule Electric Car

Picture of the Joule in motion
Picture of the Joule in motion

The Joule specifications

 The genius behind the Joule electric car will put the electric car into production in South Africa with assistance from an un-named German company in mid of 2010.

The pilot program for the run out of the first Joule Electric car production will take place under the watchful eye of designers Optimal Energy.

The Joule electric car was originally designed as a 6 seater, but after careful reasearch into the market and for optimal use of storage space and boot trunk space, will be launched as a 5 seater hatchback.

The power storage of the Joule electrics will allow the engine to be driven for a distance of roughly 180 miles on the open road. Due to the ability for the brakes to recharge the engine, the electrical storage will enable greater city driving distance of roughly 200 miles before the need for a recharge.

The Joule is understandably silent when running, but has undergone a series of noise dampening design elements due to the lack of noise reduction usually associated to a petrol engine over the noise created by winds and aerodynamics. The whisper effect is in essence the success story of the Joule electric car giving utter silence in motion.

South Africa's Joule Electric Car

Good news for South African Joule Electric Car

The good news about the Joule is that the point of manufacture will be carried out in the East London motoring centre with employment of about 10 000 jobs to be expected. Production should commence in the spring of 2010 with the initial rollout of about 50 000 units to be expected for availability on the world market in late 2012. The South African market has a reserve consumption estimated at roughly 10 % of the total production. The sales price for these environmentally sound vehicles is expected at around $ 35 000 or R 245 000.

The Joule is definitely starting point to charter safer and cleaning environments for our vehicles and should spawn an effort to create only better and faster electric cars into the future with less need for oil products.


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    • Dale Nelson profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Nelson 

      7 years ago from South Africa


      Hi Adriaan,

      You make a very valid point as far as affordability is concerned. As with any new tech though, they have to start somewhere and as brand awareness increases as well as acceptance and consumption, we will definitely find the average entry level pricing decrease. We can only hope though that the COP 17 summit in Durban promotes clean energy efficient vehicles enough to lessen the costs of production. Its kind of a catch 22 when the production methods used to produce these vehicles are adverse. But for the future of the planet, we can only hope that there is some merit from a tax deduction etc point of view that will cause company fleets to consider these vehicles as alternatives.Imagine the government starts the ball rolling and enforces its city municipal fleets to be green energy efficient vehicles.We can only hope and I think the Joule may be the start.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Guys, speaking from a consumer point of view, this is just another rich man's toy. Its a great idea to go green but at R245 000 I would rather go for a good old patrol/diesel car which offers much more. While a petrol car takes a few minutes to fill up this car takes 7 hours. Also, it needs to be charged which means you will be saying goodbye to high petrol bills and hello to higher electricity bills.

      If these kind of ideas really want to be taken mainstream these companies must start looking at low cost units to suit the lower to middle class person's pocket.

      But its still a great start though!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Guys,speaking from a consumer perspective, this is a great idea, but at R245 000 I would rather go for something much more luxurious and petrol/diesel driven like a hyundai or bmw. Driving something like this just for the sake of the environment isnt worth the money they are asking.Plus they do not mention the high electricity bills. Basically you will just take your petrol money and buy more electricity and while my current car takes a few minutes to fill up with petrol this thing takes 7 hours to charge. Im not against the idea, but cars like these are only for the super rich who can afford gadgets or toys like these.

      If they really want to save the environment they will make something thats low cost so the average guy can go and replace his old corolla or fiesta and still be able to survive without being in debt so deep that the car gets reposesed/

    • Dale Nelson profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Nelson 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Melani,

      All contact details can be directed to the head office of Optimal Energy,the manufacturer, via their website.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Where can we place a order for this car?

    • Dale Nelson profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Nelson 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for the comments Shaun Bew and Agvulpes.

      @ Shaun. You will have top keep an eye on the mechanical engineering job sites or contact them directly.

      @Agvulpes. So far as i know, there is a small petrol engine that charges the system whilst idling and the battery is a waranteed component of the vehicle.However I ma pretty sure you are correct as the replacement cost would be for the most integral feature of the design.

    • agvulpes profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      The Joule is certainly a nice looking motor car and I do wish it well! My big reservation with electric cars it the very high battery replacement costs, any thoughts on that aspect with the Joule?

    • profile image

      Shaun Bew 

      8 years ago

      Any careers available in Cape Town relating to the Joule's production ?


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