The SA Climate Change Champs partnered up with Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS), which transported the regional finalists of the 2023 Renewable Energy Challenge (REC) for the national round of the competition.
As part of the programme for the national final, the regional finalists journeyed on a tour to Cape Town over 17 – 19 May 2023 where they visited renewable energy facilities and institutions and presented at the Green Hub stage at Enlit Africa conference, which saw the Green Queens of St Anna Private School from the Northern Cape emerge as the competition winners. See here.
GABS elevated the visiting finalists’ experience of renewable energy through electric mobility having transported the participants with the electric bus throughout the programme between the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre in Belville, Cape Town International Convention Centre in the CBD and Ener-G-Africa facility in Ndabeni, while also showcasing the beauty of Cape Town’s city centre and surrounds from the view of an electric bus.
GABS, provides road based public transport to the community of Cape Town. The bus company provides commuters safe, affordable and reliable bus services while simultaneously contributing to the economy of the metropole and responsible corporate citizenship. Celebrating more than 160 years of history, GABS is an established market player in the public transport industry in Cape Town and is leading the way towards the transition to electric buses in the South African market. In 2021, GABS was the first commuter bus operating company in South Africa to pilot and field test the use of electric buses.
“We are delighted to expose these climate champions to the possibilities that electric mobility has to offer. The youth are the future generation of leaders in energy, and we hope to inspire them by demonstrating what a sustainable transport system looks like. Golden Arrow Bus Services is proud to be pioneering the transition towards the electrification of mobility and showing these learners an application of renewable energy powering up communities”, said Gideon Neethling, Company Engineer at GABS.
The electrification of public transportation for commuter bus services by GABS is mentioned in GreenCape’s latest Electric Vehicles market intelligence report as a key sector development in the public transport space. “Golden Arrow Bus Services has procured the first electric 65-seater commuter bus in South Africa for pilot testing and has announced plans to procure 60 electric buses annually from 2023 / 2024 onwards.” Thus demonstrating the successful piloting of electric buses and the use of solar energy for charging in the context of public transport services in Cape Town.
REC welcomed regional finalists in Grades 9 – 11 from climate club host schools in urban and rural communities in the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape, all of which have never seen or travelled with an electric bus before this experience. One of the main objectives of the competition is to demonstrate the practical applications of renewable energy, with the aim of inspiring the youth to use their imagination to power up their community using renewable energy.
We would like to thank GABS for safely and comfortably transporting the regional finalists during their excursions and contributing to their practical learning of renewable energy.