Finweek English Edition - - COVER STORY -

The EV mar­ket is ques­tion­able in SA for a sur­pris­ing rea­son: safety. Since the range of EVs at the mo­ment is re­stricted to around 100km to 150km, and since the num­ber of power points is also very limited, the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing stranded at night with a dead bat­tery is sim­ply too big a risk. And over the short term it will prob­a­bly re­main a risk worth pay­ing more for to avoid.

The in­cen­tives an­nounced re­cently by Trade Min­is­ter Rob Davies in the Elec­tronic Ve­hi­cle In­dus­try Road Map (EVIRM) are aimed at the man­u­fac­tur­ers, not at con­sumers.

While con­sumer in­cen­tives were be­ing con­sid­ered, Davies said Govern­ment wanted to fo­cus f irst on the pro­duc­tion side .

Even so, EVs are en­joy­ing some solid sup­port lately. Our Govern­ment recog­nises that a real mar­ket ex­ists lo­cally. “What will make th­ese ve­hi­cles sell­able in South Africa,” says Davies, “will be en­tirely de­pen­dent on whether th­ese cars are made in South Africa.” While this seems like an over­sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of the is­sues in­volved, Davies does point out: “Th­ese are very early stages for the cars in man­u­fac­tur­ing.” He added: “There are zero of th­ese cars be­ing pro­duced in the coun­try; that is why we need to get the pro­grammes go­ing.”

In­deed, SA is al­ready well be­hind a host of other coun­tries. At least 25 ma­jor economies al­ready have in­cen­tives for con­sumers of EVs al­ready in place, most of th­ese in Europe.

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