- Greater ChinaSimplified ChineseTraditional Chinese
- Germany (Global)GermanEnglishFrenchSpanish
- Middle East & AfricaEnglish
- South AmericaSpanish
- South AsiaEnglish
- South East AsiaEnglish
- United KingdomEnglish
- United States of AmericaEnglish
How a family business became a trailblazer
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.
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.
Become independent of fossil fuels
Reduce the mobility costs of your vehicle fleet
Help to protect the climate
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.
- 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 SMA Commercial Energy Solution at the dealership
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.
Maximum yields for more self-consumption
The car dealership in Pretoria is determined to achieve energy efficiency right from the point of generation. With the SMA Sunny Tripower X, solar power output can be optimized in any situation. This allows for more self-consumption and means the dealership is even less reliant on South Africa’s largely coal-fired utility grid.
Preusse’s day-to-day operations also benefit from the clever integrated features. SMA ShadeFix boosts PV yields even when part of the system is in the shade, while SMA Smart Connected automates system monitoring, thereby maximizing the running time of the system and, in turn, its yield.
Intelligent energy management
It all began with a phase-specific analysis of energy needs using the SMA Energy Meter. In combination with the SMA Data Manager M and Sunny Portal powered by ennexOS, Preusse can monitor, control and optimize his dealership’s energy usage in real time to make targeted savings on energy costs.
This means that not only is the process of charging the electric vehicles more efficient, but the additional energy usage by the hot-water tank is also regulated in that it heats water only during the day when solar power is available.
Optimized charging for climate-friendly driving
With its free-standing SMA EV Charger Business dual-socket charging station, the Centurion dealership is ideally equipped to supply its ever-growing stock of electric vehicles.
Smart charging management optimizes the distribution of solar power for operational purposes. This ensures that each vehicle receives exactly the amount of energy that it needs, at precisely the times of day when that energy is at its cheapest and has the least impact on the environment.
Starting the day self-sufficiently and with zero emissions
The SMA commercial storage system is the centerpiece of the sustainable energy supply at the dealership. Customized to suit the load profile of the business, the battery storage system can manage energy usage more efficiently and boost self-consumption. Preusse reaps the benefits of those capabilities in the mornings in particular. When the sun has yet to reach its zenith, the SMA commercial storage system absorbs the load peaks, which means that there is no need to purchase electricity from the grid.
“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.