It is not easy to buy an electric car in South Africa. At least electric car owners don't have the same facilities as those who drive traditional ones. The growth of the electric cars industry is challenging but it seems to move in the right direction, as estimation shows.
The electric vehicles market is still really small if compared to the traditional car production. Just for us to realize, there are nearly 7 thousand electric units actively on the South African streets. Instead, according to the National Traffic Information System, the total South African live vehicle population registered in july 2022 is 11,897,530 (the report includes motor cars, station wagons, minibuses, buses, motorcycles and trucks).
So, it is easy to notice that electric vehicles don't represent a relevant portion of the total percentage, but still they are growing fast. Many companies are including electric mobility as an important part of their revenue model. Actually, the Electronic Vehicles are predicted to be 33% of the global sales by 2028.
That is the case of Mercedes-Benz South Africa, which is promoting the ditching of fossil fuel-powered cars for their electric alternatives. In fact, according to its co-CEO, Mark Raine, projections indicate that more than 50% of the company's local car sales will be fully electric by the end of 2026.
Of course, it only rests a few four years from now, but the analysts are optimistic regarding the massification of this kind of vehicle.
Some challenges for the automotive industry
So, to achieve the goal of popularizing vehicle mobility, there are a list of obstacles -or challenges- that the industry must face.
First of all, and one of the main factors that would influence consumer’s decisions, is the related to cost and pricing. This is because there is a big gap between what South Africans are willing to pay for electric cars, to their real price. In accordance with the 2022 Electric Vehicles Market Intelligence report developed by GreenCape, 74% of the people asked responded they were willing until R200,000 and R500,000 for an electric model.
This report shows an issue, having in mind that the cheapest Electric Vehicle in South Africa, the Mini Cooper SE, cost R658,000.
And it is not just about having the money to buy the car. After that, there are several costs that will be differently considered from a traditional car. Let's just think about preventing damages. If an electric car owner used a car insurance calculator, he or she would realize that there are few companies which offer protection for those models and that, of course, the policy may be more expensive.
In conclusion, electric mobility is growing rapidly, but there are still important aspects to be treated by the industry.