AutoTrader South Africa, in collaboration with Smarter Mobility Africa, has just released the 2022 edition of its Electric Vehicle Buyers Survey. The survey results show that 64% of respondents stated that they would purchase an electric vehicle within the next 5 years. 72% of consumers are willing to spend up to R600,000 ($33,000) on an EV.
Interest in electric vehicles is growing in South Africa. The number of EVs available on the market is also growing. Currently, people in South Africa can buy any of the following models:
- Audi e-tron
- Audi e-tron GT
- Audi RS e-tron GT
- BMW iX
- BMW iX3
- BMW i4 M50
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Mercedes-Benz EQA
- Mercedes-Benz EQB
- Mercedes-Benz EQC
- Mercedes-Benz EQS
- MINI Cooper SE
- Porsche Taycan
- Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge
- Volvo XC40 P6 Recharge
Of all these models, only the Mini Cooper SE is priced below R1 million ($54,000). The Mini Cooper starts from about R770,000. This means none of the EVs available for people to buy in South Africa are under the R600,000 that the majority of the would-be buyers are willing to pay. This is a missed opportunity for South Africa. Dealers and their international OEM partners should seriously start looking into expanding the range of EVs that are available in South Africa to cater for the majority.
One thing that holds back the industry is the fact that EVs in South Africa incur substantially higher taxes compared to ICE equivalents. Taxes are set at 18% for ICE imports vs 25% for EV imports. There is also the ad valorem tax for EVs, which pushes the cost of an EV to more than 2X that of the average price of a new ICE vehicle of a similar make/model in most cases.
It is no surprise then that the high upfront purchase price of EVs in South Africa is cited as the main barrier to adoption. 65.4% of the respondents say that the high initial cost of purchase is the main concern:
Duration of charging, as well as the perceived lack of charging infrastructure, were the other major concerns. It was interesting to note that although range anxiety was further down the list with 20.9% saying it was one of the main concerns, 37% said they would want an EV with a range of 500 to 700 km per charge. 700 km range is Mercedes-Benz EQS territory. A lot of EVs that are within the price range that most people indicated in the survey (R600,000) have much smaller batteries and have less range than 500 km.
Other things to note from the report are:
- 7% of respondents would said they would use an EV as their primary vehicle
- 64.7% of respondents stated that they would be willing to pay more for an EV up front, given the running costs were lower than a petrol/diesel car
- 54% of the respondents were between 35 and 54 years old
- 4% of respondents were male
- 50% of the respondents were from one province (Gauteng)
Images from AutoTrader SA
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Source: Clean Technica