SMA helps Audi Dealership in South Africa cut electricty costs by 60%

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  • In the midst of the energy transition, which is gaining ever more momentum the world over, a family business is establishing itself as a driving force in the switch to electric vehicles in South Africa.
  • Find out how Peter Preusse halved energy costs at his company and helped to protect the climate in the process.

The story

As far as Peter Preusse is concerned, the transition to electric vehicles began when the first Audi e-trons arrived in South Africa. Yet when the new electric vehicles were charged for the first time, his electricity bill doubled almost overnight.

In a country that seems to have sunshine to spare, the solution to the problem struck Preusse as glaringly obvious. Sure enough, to reduce its dependence on expensive electricity purchased from the grid, his car dealership decided solar energy was the way forward. A PV system was installed on the roof of the dealership, capably assisted by three inverters, a smart energy management system, a commercial storage system and a dual-socket charging station. All of it came as a package thanks to SMA. This combination has enabled the company to cut its energy costs, reduce load peaks and charge its range of electric vehicles in a carbon-friendly way.

The dealership cut its electricity bill by 60 percent within six months and its CO2 emissions by 55 metric tons in the space of a year.

The objective

  • Become independent of fossil fuels
  • Reduce the mobility costs of your vehicle fleet
  • Help to protect the climate

The solution

With the new SMA Commercial Energy Solution, Peter Preusse’s first choice for charging his fleet is self-generated solar power, and the smart energy management system means that he can save a lot of money.

The result

  • Energy costs reduced by 60 percent since commissioning (ROI expected in roughly 2.5 years)
  • Annual CO2 savings of 55 metric tons
  • Climate-friendly off-grid supply continues even if the utility grid suffers an outage
  • New business field created through the combination of the Audi e-tron and SMA Home Energy Solution

Electric cars and a PV system: a clear selling point

The company is more than just a car dealership; it is a prime example of how the energy transition can lead to the creation of new business fields. Preusse found that the synergies between EV and PV in particular were often what tipped the balance in people’s minds, and he presented that added value to customers.

Anyone walking into the dealership will find not just electric cars but also the SMA system for saving energy and carbon-friendly charging. The combination of electric vehicle and the energy system makes the Audi Centre a one-stop shop for anyone looking to take a sustainable approach to both their mode of transportation and their domestic energy supply.

For Preusse, the way the two interact adds up to something that goes far beyond the cost savings alone. It represents a pathway to a secure and environmentally friendly future for him and his company.

The dealership even installed an SMA Energy System Home comprised of SMA PV hybrid inverter, battery and a residential SMA EV-Charger to explain to customers buying an Audi e-tron how to charge with solar at home by utilising SMA technology.

Generating, managing, charging, storing – One solution covers it all.

With its SMA Commercial Energy Solution, Audi Centre Centurion is now ensuring a climate-friendly energy supply, enjoying significantly lower running costs and, on sunny days, operating completely self-sufficiently.

“For me, the energy transition means ensuring a secure future. I experience this freedom from the grid every time I charge,” – Peter Preusse, managing director of Audi Center Centurion.

Plan your climate-neutrality as a small or medium-sized enterprise. With the support of SMA.

For over 40 years, SMA has been helping customers to generate electricity from renewable energies. For this purpose, we develop systems and technologies that satisfy the individual needs of our customers worldwide. SMA offers you full service in a comprehensive package so that you reap the benefits of your system over its entire service life. From individual planning and proper installation through to global remote maintenance by SMA experts.

For enquiries contact Daniel Lambrechts:

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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