uYilo serves as the national electric mobility programme that has been active since 2013 in playing a leading role in enabling the electric mobility ecosystem. As a multi-stakeholder programme, uYilo’s activities include government lobbying (policies, regulations and standards), industry engagement (from multi-national OEMs to start-ups), pilot projects, capacity development, enterprise development and thought leadership across the ecosystem.

uYilo is derived from the local Xhosa language which means ‘to create’, along the mission of creating an enabling environment for the eMobility industry in South Africa, and Africa. The programme operates from a corporate satellite office in Johannesburg and technical facilities in the Eastern Cape hosted by Nelson Mandela University where the region holds historic reference to when South Africa’s automotive manufacturing began in 1924. In support of the ecosystem technologies, uYilo’s technical facilities include ISO 17025 accredited battery testing, materials testing, electric vehicle systems, and a live testing environment providing inter-operability between electric vehicles and the smart grid..

The programme is an initiative of the Technology Innovation Agency, a public entity of the national Department of Science and Innovation. uYilo’s impact aligns with the required outcomes of the National Development Plan 2030, Automotive Masterplan 2035, Green Transport Strategy 2050, African Union Agenda 2063, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement for economic and social transformation.

The Electric Vehicle EcoSystem is diverse and makes up various industries and technologies.

Electric Vehicles – An electric vehicle is a vehicle that uses electric motors for moving. Electric vehicles cover a wide range of vehicles such as road, rail, underwater, air and space. The sky is not the limit when it comes to electric vehicle of the future.

Electric Vehicle Components – The type of battery, the type and size of the traction motor and the motor controller look very different depending on the use of the electric vehicle. Some are small for motorcycles and scooters, going up to large vehicles like trucks and residential cars.

Battery Technology – The advances in lithium-ion batteries have increased in leaps and bounds, first driven by the electronics industry, and then the need to allow vehicles to drive as far on one charge as a conventional fuel car. This has resulted in recharging times being reduced, production costs dropping and alternate technologies being developed (including solid-state batteries).

Charging Infrastructure – An electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a system of charging stations to recharge electric vehicles. Many government, car manufacturers, and charging infrastructure providers sought to create networks.

Other Areas within the Electric Vehicle EcoSystem – Electric Vehicle Standards; Smart Grids; Energy Generation; Battery Recycling; Battery Second Life; Electric Vehicle Services; Apps; Connectivity and Mobility Options.


Electric Vehicle Systems

Our Facility provides Mobility Platform Development and Integration across all the full spectrum of e-Mobility. 

Learn more about Electic Vehicle Systems

uYilo Smart Grid

The uYilo micro grid provides a ‘Live Testing Environment’ for the ecosystem of technologies to enable universal functionality between electric vehicles and the smart grid infrastructure.

Learn more about the Smart Grid for Electric Vehicles 

We are ISO17025 accredited and support local manufacturing companies, providing accurate and repeatable testing services for new storage solutions and validation of existing battery technologies.

We provide testing in both Lead-Acid Batteries and Lithium Battery.

Learn more about the Battery Testing Laboratory

We analyse materials from a variety of industries (battery, cement, pharmaceutical, etc).

We offer a diverse range of services such as X-ray diffraction (material identification); X-ray fluorescence (elemental composition); Melt flow indexing (MFI) of thermoplasts and BET Surface Area Analysis.

Learn more about Material Characterisation


The uYilo ‘Kick Start’ fund was established to support local industry related projects by providing an agile mechanism of grant funding that will accelerate Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) and lead to the creation of products, processes or services that can be commercialised to advance localisation of the South African eMobility industry.