Techno-Economic Comparison of Alternative Vehicle Technologies for South Africa Road Transport System

Hitesh Gajjar, Jayanta Deb Mondol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The transport sector contributes significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in South Africa, due to the growth of the economy and population. This study considers the potential impact of introducing alternative vehicle technologies such as electric, hydrogen, and hybrid vehicles in South Africa and evaluating the influence of greater market penetration of such vehicles within the wider context of the country's total energy usage. Three scenarios were investigated with results projected to the year 2030: The “baseline” scenario considered the business-as-usual case, in which no alternative vehicles are adopted. The baseline scenario showed that the increase in GHG emissions cannot be curtailed by improving fuel efficiency because of the increase in vehicle numbers. The second, “mixed-mode,” scenario assumes a conservative growth rate of electric vehicles and its derivatives. The third, “blue-sky,” scenario assumes optimistic growth rates of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Based on the results of the three scenarios, a fourth optimized scenario was established, which optimizes the adoption of the various technologies to minimize vehicle-generated emissions. The highest efficiency can be achieved by aggressive adoption of plug-in hybrids as a transitional vehicle up until the year 2020, by which time renewables are predicted to form a sufficiently significant fraction of the energy mix in South Africa for battery-powered electric vehicles to become the optimal platform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-589
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Transportation
Issue number7
Early online date31 May 2016
Publication statusPublished online - 31 May 2016


  • transport
  • energy
  • efficiency
  • green house gas emissions
  • alternative vehicles


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