THE EV DRIVING SCENE I N SOUTH AFRICA
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.