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South Africans are ready to jump into electric cars

From Pritesh Ruthun 1h ago

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JOHANNESBURG – While only 1.8% of South Africans have owned an electric vehicle (EV) so far, 13% have driven one and 68% want to own one. This is one of many results of the survey of electric vehicle buyers carried out by AutoTrader in collaboration with Generation.e.

The survey, which collected 3,100 responses from customers on AutoTrader, aims to bridge the gap between consumer perceptions and industry assumptions to help South African automotive players such as dealers, manufacturers, marketers and government agencies initiate action-based discussions.

You can find the results of the survey in the latest semi-annual AutoTrader Car Industry Report, entitled #ReBound.

According to George Mienie, CEO of AutoTrader, it is hoped that these insights will lead to a tomorrow that is greener, cleaner, and mutually beneficial for the South African auto industry, the South African economy, and most importantly, South African car buyers.

“We realized that there is great potential for the introduction of electric vehicles in South Africa. However, we need to overcome the perceived drawbacks – such as the lack of charging infrastructure, charging time, and the initial upfront cost (which is currently the biggest obstacle in my opinion). It is a little known fact that South Africa has one of the highest charging stations per electric vehicle in the world. We have one charging point for every four electric vehicles and the rest of the world has one in 20. While the spread of electric vehicles in South Africa is low, I can safely say that the charging infrastructure is in place! “He notes.

Fully electric Porsche Macan is being tested

So the charging infrastructure is in fact not negative. But what about the other perceived drawbacks in the minds of consumers?

Charge time and initial cost are the second and third biggest issues (after infrastructure charging).

Consumers buying cars are prepared to pay no more than R 500,000 – and currently the cheapest EVs cost around R 642,000, but this has to be offset against running costs – and AutoTrader has calculated that EVs are seven times cheaper to run against a car with an internal combustion engine.

With regard to the charging time, the respondents stated that an electric vehicle should be charged in four hours at home and within 15 minutes at public charging stations – both of which are currently not possible.

Despite these challenges, the survey found immense consumer interest in actually purchasing an electric vehicle.

In fact, most South Africans expect to buy an electric vehicle by 2027. Consumers aged 18 to 34 are more likely to buy an electric vehicle after five years, while those aged 55 and over are more likely to consider buying an electric vehicle within the next three years.

The brand they are most likely to buy is BMW (the survey found it to be the brand consumers know the most when it comes to buying electric vehicles). However, the survey also concluded that if government pricing and incentive issues are addressed, we could see Tesla rollout in South Africa “fairly quickly”.




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