Anglo American Platinum, BMW Group South Africa, and Sasol South Africa Limited Partner to Bring Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles to South Africa

Three leading South African companies have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of a green hydrogen mobility ecosystem in the country. Anglo American Platinum, BMW Group South Africa, and Sasol South Africa Limited will work together to bring hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and supporting hydrogen refueling technology to South Africa.

Under the agreement, BMW will provide the hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles, while Sasol will supply the green hydrogen and mobile refueler. Anglo American Platinum, which provides platinum group metals (PGMs) used in FCEVs and has been investing in hydrogen technologies for many years, will work closely with BMW and Sasol to help develop the local green hydrogen mobility ecosystem.

The agreement is a significant step towards accelerating the uptake of FCEVs and the establishment of related infrastructure in South Africa. Growing the market for hydrogen-fueled mobility solutions is a key pillar of the South African government’s green hydrogen economy strategy, which will lower carbon emissions, unlock investment, create jobs, and drive demand for critical metals and raw materials, including PGMs.

The agreement was signed at the 2023 South African Green Hydrogen Summit in Cape Town. The first FCEVs are expected to arrive in South Africa in the coming months. The vehicles will operate on South African roads as part of an international trial to understand how the BMW iX5 Hydrogen performs in real-world conditions, following four years of development work.

Sasol Executive Vice President for the Energy Business, Priscillah Mabelane, said: “Sasol, BMW and Anglo American Platinum recognise the urgency of addressing climate change, and this agreement demonstrates our commitment to revolutionising the energy sector by exploring and promoting cutting-edge solutions. As an organisation that has been producing and marketing hydrogen for more than 20 years, we know hydrogen. We produced our first batch of green hydrogen at our Sasolburg facility in June and in 2024 we will ramp this up to commercial scale when a 69MW wind farm, situated in the Eastern Cape, comes online. As Sasol we are excited to be part of this demonstration, which has been strategic in showcasing local capability and the art of the possible.” Peter van Binsbergen, CEO of BMW Group South Africa, said: “One technology on its own will not be enough to enable climate-neutral mobility worldwide. As a versatile energy source, hydrogen has a key role to play on the road to climate neutrality. We believe South Africa – with its abundance of raw materials and sound infrastructure base – is ideally placed to deliver on the Green Hydrogen Economy’s promises. Soon, with collaborators Sasol and Anglo American Platinum, we will be able to demonstrate the technical maturity of BMW’s fuel cell electric vehicle drive system, underscoring its potential for the future.” Craig Miller, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, said: “Hydrogen fuel cells are a critical technology for zero emission electric vehicles, and we believe FCEVs will play an important role in the mix of drivetrain technologies needed to decarbonise all forms of transport. FCEVs benefit from short refuelling times and long ranges, similar to using a diesel or petrol vehicle, but with the added benefit of zero emissions. Our collaboration with Sasol and BMW builds on various partnerships we have around the world to drive green mobility solutions and develop new uses for the products we mine.”

The collaboration between Anglo American Platinum, BMW Group South Africa, and Sasol South Africa is a positive development for the future of sustainable transportation in South Africa. The development of a green hydrogen mobility ecosystem will help to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and improve air quality. It will also create new jobs and opportunities for South African businesses

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