Motoring News

Thinking of going electric? Here’s the SA situation…

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Is the country ready for electric vehicles? A study released in October (2020) has highlighted some fascinating insight into the future of these vehicles in the country.

AutoTrader – the biggest digital automotive marketplace in South Africa – and Generation.e – partnered to provide insights into consumer perception, expectation, purchase intent, awareness and trust of EVs.

The 2020 South Africa EV Car Buyer Survey will complement the recent report published by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa).


The full findings of the survey were revealed at the Smarter Mobility Africa event on 28 October 2020 by AutoTrader’s CEO George Mienie.

He believed South Africa was “still in the starting blocks” regardingEV adoption – only two percent the market involves an EV and only 13% of potential vehicle owners had driven one.

“But EVs will gain in popularity. The survey ahows the gap between peoples’ perception and industry assumptions to assist stakeholders such as dealers, manufacturers, marketers and government bodies. The hope is that these insights will lead to a greener, cleaner future.”

So, how do potential,buyers feel about EVs? The 2020 South Africa EV Car Buyer Survey yields some interesting results.

For instance, there was still anxiety about range and charging. “About 60% of respondents cited charging infrastructure and time as the biggest disadvantages of electric vehicles.”


However, only 26% of respondents believed “range anxiety” was a major disadvantage (previously this has been the most significant concern). About 40% of respondents wanted at least 300km, 44% wanted more that 500km.

Purchase prices also bothered potential buyer yet 67% of respondents were willing to pay more for an EV upfront, given that running costs were lower than a petrol/diesel vehicle, and

Most significantly 68% of respondents were ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to consider an EV in the future; only seven percent of respondents were ‘unlikely’ to consider an EV.

Mienie added: “We’re not talking about EV purchases in the distant future, either – 74% of respondents said they would own an electric vehicle within the next five years.”


The survey reported BMW, Tesla and Mercedes-Benz EV as most likely to be bought even though Tesla isn’t currently available in South Africa.

“More than half of the respondents – 56% – trusted BMW the most, 42% selected Tesla, 36% selected Mercedes-Benz,” says Mienie.

The 2020 South Africa EV Car Buyer Survey report is available free, here.

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