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Paving the Way for EVs: How Greener Cars Will Change Road Trips and Infrastructure

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Adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is set to pick up in South Africa in years to come, driving changes to filling stations, road trips and how people pay to power their vehicles.

This is according to Payment24, specialists in fuel and fleet management systems, who say EVs have been slow to take off in South Africa, but that uptake is set to grow as the upfront cost of these vehicles drops and as more infrastructure becomes available to support them.

Payment24 CEOs Shadab Rahil and Nolan Daniel note that the logistics of running EVs will mean that people will plan their trips around where they can charge their vehicles, and there will be changes in the way filling stations will entertain customers while they wait to charge their cars, and how people will pay for their power.

Slow start

According to Green Cape’s Electric Vehicles Market Intelligence Report released this year, of the passenger car sales in 2019, petrol vehicle sales accounted for 299,048; diesel vehicle sales for 55,563; and there were only 72 plug-in hybrid EV sales, 154 battery EV and 181 hybrid EV sales.

Rahil and Daniel say that EV uptake in South Africa has been slow partly because the lowest-cost EVs available in South Africa are priced at around R600,000, and due to limited numbers of public charging points – particularly outside of the major metros. Daniel says: “Range anxiety has also been a factor, with concern about what should happen if a battery runs out of power during a trip. But battery technology has improved dramatically, so EVs can now be charged overnight at home, or at a high-capacity public charging station in around 20 minutes, which would power a vehicle for 100km or more. For most people, a 100km range is ample for the day.”

He says installing a public charging point can cost in the order of R1 million, making many fuel stations and other public facilities loath to make the investment when there are limited numbers of EVs on the road. With between 250 and 300 public charging stations across South Africa at the moment, there is currently around one charging station for every four EVs in the country, reports Green Cape which is one of the highest ratio of Chargers vs EV’s in the world.

EV uptake set to boom

However, EV prices are dropping and more vehicle manufacturers are entering the EV market, bringing more choice to South Africans. This charge could be lead by Chinese manufacturers who can provide affordable EVs to the African markets in near future. More EVs on the road will drive the installation of more charging stations outside of the major metros, making longer trips in EVs more feasible, and changing the face of the traditional South African road trip. “Charging EVs will definitely change the fuel station experience,” he says. “Where people could fill up with liquid fuel and be in and out in 5 minutes, with an EV they would be there for far longer – waiting their turn to charge, and actually charging their vehicles. This will drive a change in what fuel stations offer their customers in terms of refreshments and entertainment.”

EV uptake is already causing oil companies to move to broader energy provision, and is also likely to increase demand for high capacity power, creating new opportunities for small scale energy producers.

Strong business case for EVs

Rahil notes that once the initial costs of an EV have been overcome, there is a compelling case for EVs: “Not only is the technology eco-friendly, but the running costs are significantly lower for EVs than ICE vehicles. It’s almost a 1:5 ratio of EVs to ICE vehicles, with power costs as low as 25c per km for an average EV. From a maintenance perspective, EVs have significantly fewer moving parts, so maintenance is a lot cheaper. We expect to see strong adoption among consumers, fleet owners, public transport and logistics companies.” He notes that EV trucks will have significantly larger battery capacity than consumer vehicles, making electric power a compelling proposition for courier and logistics firms, who will likely embrace electric and hybrid power for everything from delivery scooters to large trucks.

Paving the way for seamless integrated payments

Says Rahil: “Payment24 is already working towards integrating EV charge point payments with fuel payments so that fleet owners and fuel stations will be able to manage all EV and ICE (internal combustion engine) payments on a single platform. This has become a must-have in North America and Europe, and will become increasingly important in South Africa in years to come.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Fintech

Flutterwave Celebrates Inclusion in CNBC’s Top 250 Global Fintechs

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Flutterwave has been recognized as one of the Top 250 Fintech companies globally by CNBC and Statista.

Joining the ranks of industry giants like Ali Pay, Klarna, Piggyvest, and Mastercard, this accolade underscores Flutterwave’s impact on the financial technology sector.

This honor follows Flutterwave’s recent inclusion in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, highlighting the company’s pivotal role in transforming Africa’s payment landscape.

The recognition is a testament to Flutterwave’s dedication to innovation and excellence in providing seamless payment solutions across the continent.

Expressing gratitude, Flutterwave acknowledged its talented team, supportive board, reliable partners, and loyal customers for contributing to this success.

The company continues to drive progress in the fintech industry, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing financial accessibility and inclusion in Africa and beyond.

Flutterwave’s recognition on these prestigious lists marks a proud moment and a significant milestone in its journey, reflecting the company’s growing influence and leadership in the global fintech arena.

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Startups

Google Leads $250 Million Funding Round for Glance

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich

Google is leading a $250 million funding round for Glance, a mobile content provider.

This infusion of capital aims to expand Glance’s reach and solidify its market position amidst growing competition.

Glance, a subsidiary of InMobi Group, offers a unique service that delivers news, entertainment, and other content directly to users’ mobile screens without unlocking their devices.

With a user base exceeding 300 million across India, the US, Japan, and Indonesia, the startup has gained significant traction since its inception in 2019.

The funding round, expected to close in the coming weeks, marks a continued partnership between Google and Glance.

Google initially invested in the company in 2020, and this latest round will further enhance Glance’s capabilities to innovate and reach new audiences.

This investment reflects Google’s strategic interest in India, the world’s most populous nation, where it competes with tech giants like Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon.

With India’s rapidly growing middle class and increasing smartphone adoption, the market presents vast opportunities for digital expansion.

The support from Google comes on the heels of a previous $200 million investment by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest individual, which valued Glance at over $1 billion.

The startup’s largest stakeholder, InMobi, continues to thrive as a pioneer in mobile advertising, with Glance benefiting from its expertise and resources.

As Glance prepares for this new phase of growth, it stands poised to redefine how content is consumed on mobile devices worldwide.

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Technology

Cyber Threats Surge as Nigeria’s Digital Economy Expands

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As Nigeria’s digital economy flourishes, it faces escalating cyber threats, prompting the Federal Government to issue 33 cyberattack advisories in the past year.

These warnings, issued by the Nigeria Computer and Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), highlight the growing vulnerability of the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Since July 2023, ngCERT has alerted Nigerians to new attack methods and vulnerabilities. With 22 advisories issued in 2024 alone, the surge in cyberattacks coincides with the accelerated digitization spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monthly internet usage in Nigeria soared from 125,149.86 terabytes in December 2019 to 753,388.77 terabytes in March 2024.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) notes that increased digitalization has heightened cybersecurity risks, necessitating robust protective measures.

According to Check Point Research, Nigerian businesses face approximately 2,308 attacks weekly across all sectors.

The advisories reveal various cyber threats, including ransomware and banking trojans. A recent warning highlighted Grandoreiro, a malware targeting over 1,500 banks globally, affecting 41 banking applications in Nigeria alone.

These attacks aim to steal sensitive financial data, potentially causing significant financial losses.

Nigeria’s critical infrastructure is also under threat. In August, pro-Nigerien hackers attempted to disrupt MTN Nigeria’s network, although they were unsuccessful.

During the 2023 elections, the government recorded 12.99 million cyberattacks, underscoring the scale of the threat.

Cybercrime costs Nigeria about $500 million annually. This includes data damage, stolen money, lost productivity, and post-attack disruptions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ranked Nigeria as the 16th country worst affected by cybercrime in 2020.

Experts emphasize the need for stronger cybersecurity measures. Adesina Sodiya, a professor of Computer Science and Information Security, warns that cyberattacks will continue to grow in sophistication.

He stresses the importance of building a cybersecurity curriculum and involving experts in creating effective strategies.

In response, NITDA plans to reduce cyberattacks by 40% by 2027. “As we digitize, we must build with security in mind,” said Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of NITDA.

The agency aims to implement comprehensive strategies to protect Nigeria’s burgeoning digital economy.

As Nigeria’s digital economy expands, it must address the growing cyber threats that accompany this progress. By enhancing cybersecurity measures and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, Nigeria can safeguard its digital future.

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