Mercedes-Benz South Africa advances its sustainability strategy through a pilot solar photovoltaic energy project
  • Mercedes-Benz East London manufacturing plant advances plans to move towards CO₂ neutral manufacturing, ushering in a new standard for their automotive manufacturing in South Africa
  • The solar photovoltaic energy project affirms Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s commitment to environmental sustainability

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) is moving closer towards its vision of carbon-neutral manufacturing production after the successful launch of its Photovoltaic (PV) technology project pilot.

Photovoltaic (PV) technology and devices (solar panels) convert sunlight into electrical energy and contributes to carbon reduction in the manufacturing process. 

Mercedes-Benz Group AG, the parent company of MBSA is continuously working on the development of its sustainable business strategy and has set the goal of CO₂ reduction by 2039 with Ambition2039. Mercedes-Benz intends to go all-electric until the end of this decade and aims to cut its carbon footprint per passenger car by more than half by 2030 compared with 2020 levels.  To achieve this goal, the key levers include: electrifying the vehicle fleet, charging with green energy, improving battery technology, an extensive use of recycled materials and renewable energy in production. Mercedes-Benz plans to cover more than 70 percent of its energy needs through renewable energy by 2030 by rolling out solar and wind power at own sites as well as through further Power Purchase Agreements.

In line with this ambition, MBSA piloted this PV project with the objective of evaluating the solar yield for the East London manufacturing plant. The pilot provided MBSA with first-hand experience with the technology in East London manufacturing plant. The 360 kilowatt peak (kWp) solar panels were installed on the roof of its recently commissioned body shop building. Since the start of the pilot in January 2022, the pilot has thus far produced impressive solar yields.

Commenting on the successful launch of the PV pilot project, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-South Africa and Executive Director of Manufacturing, Andreas Brand said: “As Mercedes-Benz our goal is to make the world’s most desirable cars. The launch of the PV pilot project attests to our commitment to climate protection and the sustainable manufacturing of our products. We are proud of our successful pilot project here in East London and look forward to actively making a significant contribution to Sustainable Production/Co2 neutral manufacturing.”

The next phase of the project will complete the plant baseload requirement, with future projects on newly commissioned buildings.