CDAA sponsored electric vehicle wins competition

JOHANNESBURG – October 02, 2013 – The Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA), attended the 2013 Kalahari Desert SpeedWeek in Hakskeenpan earlier this month, where they sponsored Team Freedom Won’s prototype electric car, Freedom1, to promote electric motor technology and premium efficiency electric motors.  Freedom1’s ‘engine’ contains a significant amount of copper, which is known for its highly efficient conductivity.

Freedom1 is a converted Jeep Grand Cherokee with upgraded suspension, which easily handles the weight increase of the conversion of over 500 kilograms.  This five seater SUV has a 60kW motor, more than 200Nm of torque available at any driving speed, a 150km range between charges, and is capable of 120km per hour highway driving.

The vehicle’s motor is a robust air cooled, four pole, three phase induction motor, designed for heavy duty applications. It is driven by a sophisticated computer controlled variable speed inverter drive, which is capable of efficiently providing strong acceleration torque and high speed control. The system includes regenerative braking for maximum efficiency and range.

The 600V DC battery pack design is made up from a number of large format high performance lithium ion cells. The vehicle is fitted with an on-board charger that connects at home or office to a simple custom installed high power charging supply, capable of charging a fully discharged battery pack within three to four hours. For everywhere else the vehicle can also be charged in five to six hours using an ordinary 16A 230V household socket.

This year the 2013 Kalahari Desert SpeedWeek coincided with the Eco SpeedWeek. This was the first zero emission SpeedWeek in Africa for which only zero emission vehicles are eligible. Special track configurations were created to simulate a Le Mans type race environment for competitors, as well as top end runs and other competitive events. Hydrogen, bio fuel, gas and electric vehicles were welcome, and even human-powered vehicles could enter.

Speaking of the event, Carel Ballack, project consultant at CDAA said: “Freedom1 drew a lot of interest at the event, from the organisers, fellow competitors and race spectators; as well as on route to Hakskeenpan. The vehicle performed exceptionally well, under what were extreme environmental conditions, winning the endurance event.  The Jeep was also the fastest electric vehicle at the event, which was no mean feat given that it weighs 2.5 tonnes.”

CDAA centre director, Evert Swanepoel adds: “We were delighted to sponsor Freedom1 at the event, in a bid to raise awareness of electric motor technology and premium efficiency electric motors.  We were certainly not left disappointed by the vehicle’s superior performance.”

About the Copper Development Association Africa

The Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA) has represented the local copper industry in southern Africa since 1962 and now promotes copper usage throughout Africa.  The CDA Africa’s head office is based in Johannesburg and, on behalf of its members, the organisation is committed to promoting and expanding the use of copper and copper alloys throughout Africa.


Copper Development Association Africa: Evert Swanepoel, +27 (0) 11 824 3916,

icomm: Debbie Sielemann, +27 (0) 82 414 4633,

Posted in Electrical, Projects