Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
30 Oct 2021
11:00 am

WATCH: Up close with South Africa’s Tesla Model X

Charl Bosch

Opening of Growthpoint Properties' award winning green 144 Oxford building prompted partner Rubicon to bring the Model X along.

Rubicon's Tesla Model X with its distinctive falcon doors.

International property giant, Growthpoint Properties, officially celebrated the latest achievement of its newest office block in Sandton with the showing of the much publicised Tesla Model X brought into South Africa earlier this year by renewable energy firm, Rubicon.

Forming part of Growthpoint’s tie-up with Rubicon that led to the implementation of a series of environmentally friendly installations and technologies at its building, located at 144 Oxford Street, the showing of the Model X coincides with its ‘tour’ of various cities as a ways of gathering interest not only in electric vehicles, but also the viability of marketing the brand in South Africa.

As part of the display, which included a tour of the facility that recently became the latest recipient of a five star grading by the Green Building Council of South Africa, the 580kW/1 140Nm Model X Performance had the additional opportunity of showcasing its trademark falcon wing doors and humorous Celebration mode activated by the expansive touchscreen infotainment system.

“Our innovative collaboration with Rubicon’s Tesla Model X at 144 Oxford demonstrates that buildings are where the rubber hits the road on the journey to carbon reduction,” Growthpoint Head of Sustainability and Utilities, Grahame Cruickshanks, said.

Tesla Model X South Africa
Growthpoint Properties’ award winning 144 Oxford building in Sandton. Image: supplied

“It highlights the direct impacts that a building’s power source can have on reducing carbon emissions, and leaves no doubt that green energy and green building are the future”.

As part of the rating, the 35 000sq metre facility, which houses amongst others offices for Anglo American and PepsiCo, boasts solar power in the form of panels located on the roof, as well as innovative LED lighting inside that uses less electricity than conventional bulbs. While still to be equipped with charging stations, plans are underway to install chargers as interest in electric mobility continues to rise.

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“By providing electric vehicle charging stations at buildings in our portfolio where there is demand, particularly our shopping centres, and ensuring that buildings such as 144 Oxford are future-proofed for charging stations, Growthpoint is meeting the mounting demand for electric vehicle charging in South Africa,” Cruickshanks said.

Rubicon director Greg Blandford, who piloted the Model X from the firm’s office in Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, added that, “There is definitely a convergence of technologies over the next couple of years.

Tesla Model X South Africa
Model X in “conventional” mode

“We are seeing the solar industry progress into batteries energy storage system with electric vehicles at the forefront. Our focus is to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources. It is an exciting space to be involved in, and we are very pleased to form a part of that value chain along with partners such as Growthpoint”.

For now, despite rumours and apparent confirmation from Tesla boss Elon Musk some two years ago, no plans are currently afloat to bring the marque to South Africa despite the presence of the Model X.