Thula Solutions and Brandt BRV’s New Electric 4x4
Thula Solutions and Brandt BRV have just launched South Africa’s own electric game viewer.
Back in December 2021, we ran an article about local car manufacturers (which you can read all about here) and in that article, we highlighted Brandt BRV, the hardcore bakkie builders from Bloem.
Well, Brandt has been hard at work, collaborating with another cutting edge South African company Thula Solutions and the result is this…The Thula Electric Safari Viewer (ESV).
Before I get into the ESV, let me just make sure you are up to speed with Thula Solutions. Founded in 2017, the company specialises in developing sustainable solutions for life in the bush. Driven by Founder and CEO, Gary Davies’ passion for the African bushveld and wildlife, Thula Solutions began offering South African tour operators bespoke alternatives to power game drive vehicles by converting the petrol and diesel vehicles to electric.
When Davies began looking for companies who could help him develop his own vehicle, he approached several “respected” international EV developers who could not deliver what we wanted. That’s when he approached Brandt BRV and yes, this local is lekker collaboration delivered when the international boys could not!
Getting back to the Thula Electric Safari Viewer, this bespoke all-steel vehicle is built on Brandt’s heavy-duty chassis and is capable of seating 8 passengers including the driver and spotter. The drivetrain features four-wheel drive and a full charge, which takes two hours gives the ESV a range of 100km. The ESV also features regenerative braking, a system usually found on high-end full-blown production electric cars.
The premise behind the development of the ESV is quite simple, a silent electric vehicle creates a more enjoyable and immersive experience thanks to the absence of a diesel or petrol engine rumbling away. The adoption of an electric vehicle also improves safety while reducing maintenance as guides no longer have to switch the vehicle off and on continuously when getting up close to animals.
The cost-saving for operators is also quite substantial, based on diesel and petrol prices, the ESV is 75% cheaper to run. Those savings can be increased even further if the lodge is equipped with solar or alternative power generation sources. Thula Solution will be offering the ESV to operators on an all-inclusive rental basis.
Besides the development of the ESV, Thula Solutions is working closely with Brandt BRV to develop an electric bakkie which they will offer to general consumers, and if the ESV is anything to go by, these two companies may just be the leaders in the EV breakthrough on local soil.