Introduction To The Project

20 Mar 2020 - Chris Abraham

Did you know: SA has 2nd largest carbon footprint in Africa!


Poor electricity utility:
    Extremely inefficient power-stations
Fossil fuels used in Transportation/Freight.

How can we fix these problems? We need better electricity and transport infrastructure.

Taxis carry > 60% of SA’s commuters!

Taxis often unsafe: not roadworthy because of poor maintenance, and sometimes overcrowded
Taxi routes & schedules are often unpredictable – you can stand in one spot for an hour waiting for a taxi

SA also suffers from poor electricity generation capabilities, and it is affecting economy negatively. Stage 2 Load Shedding Costs SA’s economy R40B per month!

Introducing a concept to save our future: Electric Taxis.

How it works:

Taxi ranks installed with solar panels.
Panels charge parked taxis and feed excess power to the grid.
Taxis use battery power to transport passengers in the afternoon/evening (peak transport hours).
In the evening (peak load hours), taxi is plugged into grid via driver’s shack, and battery supplies power to the grid.
If battery is depleted too much, it will be trickle charged from the grid during off-peak hours (early in the morning).
Taxis use battery power to transport passengers in the morning (peak transport hours).
Taxi returns to taxi rank by mid-day to get a quick charge from the solar micro-grid while passengers board.

My research is to evaluate the system’s feasibility and performance. I will use simulation & modelling, but will get a prototype (to-scale) built, if funding permits.

What is hoped from research outcomes: Despite a big initial investment, it is hoped that e-taxi solution will offset the costs to SA’s economy due to load shedding and the poor performance of existing coal power-stations. Taxi’s will have cheaper running costs (electricity is cheaper than petrol, and taxi will need less maintenance). Taxi’s will also be safer, and intelligent IOT systems can help passengers predict the time and place where they can hail a ride.