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ENVIRONMENT: Green Technology Will Be Highlighted at SA Trade Fair


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Green technology and environmentally-friendly initiatives will be highlighted at Automechanika SA, as is the case at all of these global automotive aftermarket trade fairs. The local show will be staged at the Johannesburg Expo Centre from Wednesday to Saturday (March 9-12)
The Green Carpet areas at the trade fair will feature one of the widest ranges of eco transport technology assembled at one place in South Africa.

The variety extends from production petrol/electric hybrid cars from Honda, Toyota and Lexus to a marvellous collection of vehicles that have been assembled by the Race Director of the SA Solar Challenge, Winstone Jordaan, who organises this 4 000km international race under the banner of the Innovation Hub and Advanced Technology Foundation.

Jordaan has arranged the following exhibits: a battery-powered Ford Bantam bakkie, a hydrogen tricycle from the Tshwane University of Technology, a hydrogen/petrol hybrid from the University of Johannesburg (a competitor from the SA Solar Challenge), a solar car from the University of the Witwatersrand, a solar car from EcoZone and a driving simulator for a three-wheel electric car.

Honda is making a big statement with a standalone display of three of its hybrids – two of which are on sale locally already and a third that goes on sale shortly. They are the CR-Z sports coupe that is a finalist in the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists’ Wesbank-sponsored Car of the Year 2011 competition, the Insight and the Jazz Hybrid. The latter is due to be introduced in South Africa in a few weeks.

All of them use a combination of power from a petrol engine and a 10kW electric motor with Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology. In the case of the Insight and Jazz the petrol engine is a 1,3-litre unit, developing 65kW, while the sportier CR-Z has an 84Kw power unit of 1,6-litre capacity.

Two environmentally-friendly products closely related to motor vehicles will also be on display in the Green Carpet area at Automechanika SA. They are waterless car wash systems, one from Eco Car Wash and the other from Durashine Technologies.

Traditional methods of washing cars on average use more than 200 litres of water and often entail power consuming devices.

The Eco Car Wash, which uses virtually no water and its biodegradable leaning formula and micro-fibre cleaning sloths ensure a high quality, environmentally friendly car wash. Developed originally in Australia, the local version has undergone extensive testing and development in South Africa.

This has included calling on the engineering faculty of Stellenbosch University coming up with a washing system that is self-contained, using compressed air, and uses no external power.

“Our mission at Eco Car Wash is to provide a care service that cleans, protects and extends the life of automotive surfaces while protecting the consumer and the environment,” says Graham Perry, a director of Wilberry Eco Car Wash.

The South African-manufactured Eco Car Wash mobile dispenser unit is self-contained and does not leave foam, water or dirt on the floor so can be used indoors or outdoors. The unit includes a built in vacuum cleaner. One person can clean a car in between 20-30 minutes.

A wax-based formula is sprayed onto the car using the compressed air stored in a bottle. The liquid lifts and encapsulates the dirt upon contact and the encapsulated dirt is then removed with a damp micro fibre cloth. A second cloth is used to shine the vehicle.

The mobile unit is ideal for use at motor dealerships, fitment centres and service stations as it does not need an expensive dedicated faculty.

The other exhibitor of a waterless cleaning system is Durashine Technologies. It markets car care products from Croftgate in the USANi is based on a range of biodegradable micro-polymer encapsulation technology that uses wetting agents to wet and encapsulate dirt and grime in an anti-scratch layer. A micro fibre cloth is used to wipe off the trapped dirt, thereby washing and polishing the car in one action.

Durashine’s other product, the Eco Steamer employs steam vapour technology. It uses no chemicals but only about 4 litres of water, with high pressure steam vapour sprayed onto the surface by a gun. Micro Fibre cloths are used to wipe and trap dirt inside the cloth, thereby preventing the cloth scratching the surface.

The steam vapour technology is claimed to be the only car wash system that disinfects a variety of car interior surfaces without the use of chemicals, according to the managing director of Durashine Technologies, Bhupesh Vala.

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