As South Africa steadily moves towards an electric future, a few companies have made a massive impact in the transition to renewable energy. One of these leaders is Autohaus Centurion and Peter Preusse, managing director at Autohaus Centurion, with his hardworking team, has halved this family business’ energy costs, and, is helping to protect the climate in the process.

The Story

At Autohaus Centurion the transition to electric vehicles began when the first Audi e-trons arrived in South Africa. Yet when these vehicles started to be used and needed to be charged, the impact was felt dearly in the electricity bill.
In a country that has sunshine to spare, the solution to the problem struck Preusse as quite obvious. And so, to reduce its dependence on expensive electricity purchased from the grid, his car dealership, Autohaus Centurion; home to Audi Centre Centurion and Autohaus VW, 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 their innovation partnership with SMA - a leading solar solution provider.

The Solution

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 the business saves a lot of money, whilst being climate-friendly:.

The result:
  • Energy costs reduced by 60% 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
Autohaus Centurion 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 vehicles and the energy system makes the Audi Centre Centurion 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 - and more importantly a good solution for his e-tron customers.

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.

Audi Centre Centurion, in fact, the full Autohaus Centurion’s day-to-day operations also benefit from the cleverly 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.