While the news of yet another petrol price hike raises a collective groan amongst South African road users, Stuart Elliot is the one man in the country that takes joy in such an occasion. This is because his company, Melex Electrovehicles, is the leader in the electric and solar electric vehicle market in SA. Stuart says that the business is built around a range of electric vehicles, specifically those used in shuttling and utility transport applications. A secondary and complementary focus is on generic golf cart vehicles, as well as electric scooters. The latter, he says, is seen as a growing market, given the trend developing in parts of Europe, coupled with escalating fuel prices. He says that customers are drawn to the significant and proven reduction in total cost of ownership for these vehicles, while they also help to meet carbon footprint targets, which are often dictated by international customers, such as those European businesses that import SA wines. In addition, points out Stuart, Melex produces the only road-legal light electric vehicle. He adds that his customers in the hotels resorts game and wine farm sector, as well as universities, golf courses, estates, industrial companies and airports and shuttle companies are drawn to Melex’s track record and expertise. Additional points in the company’s favour include the fact that it offers effective pricing, which in turn is due to Melex’s extraordinary agility in being able to utilise local assembly, manufacturing and technology. What he seeks moving forward is a capital injection that he believes will afford the opportunity to produce some 600-700 units per annum, allowing Melex to capitalise on sales that would otherwise be lost due to marginal stock holding. He also wants to see the company develop an effective countrywide dealer network, by opening branches in Durban and Johannesburg, as the Western Cape region where it currently operates only constitutes approximately 18% of the total market opportunity.