Motoring News

Fresh perception: Are battery cars on a charge in SA?

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – With the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) fast increasing in leading markets across the world there is growing pressure on the motoring media to expand on how Saffers feel about there arrival.

Well, The Corner recently received a breakdown on what folk in South Africa think – perhaps even hope! – that their growing numbers might achieve.

Well, a study – the 2021 South African EV Buyers Survey  – conducted by AutoTrader magazine in partnership with Smarter Mobility Africa, investigated public perception and industry assumptions.


AutoTrader’s genial CEO George Mienie enlarged on the data from the survey during a 2021 Smarter Mobility Africa assembly: data from SA’s largest digital automotive marketplace claimed the appetite for batteries over liquid fuel had grown significantly.

He reported: “South Africans want electric vehicles – but prices are a major challenge. Searches for available EVs in SA have more than doubled.”


About 70% of respondents reported being likely (even very likely) to consider electric but cost remained a major barriers – about two-thirds indicated EV interest – apart from the prices and lack of charging infrastructure and the time required were still the most cited disadvantages.

Load-shedding was another problem.


About 75% of respondents identified BMW as an EV option in SA with Tesla top-of-mind for availability, despite not yet available in SA.

”It’s a similar case,” Mienie reported, ”when it comes to the most-trusted EV-maker: 52% of respondents wanted a BMW, though 40% wanted Tesla.

“High in the report were consumers’ perception, sentiment and expectations – unchanged through the past year. Potential car-buyers need more education – many are unaware of EV products and infrastructure available in SA.”


Ben Pullen, Smarter Mobility Africa’s chairman, added: “It’s great to see that many key metrics from an EV buyers’ survey are headed in the right direction despite a shortage of activity around EVs through 2021.

”There have been few electric vehicle launches or announcements; physical showcase events have been scarce, but the results are heading in the right direction.

”I look forward to the coming year – there will be battery-car launches in South Africa in 2022 and Smarter Mobility Africa will run another electric vehicle road-trip in Africa South Africa in April 2022.”

The Killarney circuit in Cape Town has put the first Formula E race on the race calendar!

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