Electric Cars In SA

State of eCars in SA



How many electric cars are there in SA?

Due to the development of infrastructure, the number of Electric Vehicles (EV) has more than doubled in recent months. QuotesAdvisor.com suggests there are about 1000 Electric Vehicles on the roads of South Africa. This number is due to increase exponentially in the upcoming years, however, it has taken a slow start. Public ignorance contributes to this as many don’t know much about them. Sadly, no electric vehicles are manufactured in South Africa.

South Africa currently has 4 brands of electric vehicles, the BMW i3 and i8, the Nissan Leaf , the latest edition of Jaguar’s I-Pace and Land Rovers Plug-In-Hybird, PHEV. Although initially designed for short distances and city driving, they are being modified in order to enable longer distance driving which is more suitable for South African roads.

Governments are able to trigger sales of EV and boost the economy as they can also be used for public transport.

“There are great benefits for the country, especially for the poor, as many of their costs are spent on public transport,” says, Anthony Dane.

The average cost of most electric vehicles In South Africa ranges from R400,000 to R1,000,000. This can classify as a luxury vehicle and unaffordable to the average middle or lower class income earner. In the long run, it is worth it as an electric car’s maintenance is more affordable compared to that of a diesel or petrol vehicle. 

In the upcoming years there will be more electric vehicles introduced into South Africa, such as the Mercedes-Benz EQC, Audi e-Tron, BMW iX3 and more. 

A slow start is still a start after all!

How many charge stations in SA?

Although there is no definite number for how many charging stations are in South Africa, as this number is continuously growing, there are currently over 90 charging stations in Gauteng. BMW has 57 charging stations in South Africa, 6 of which are shared with Nissan.  

The plan is to increase the number of charging stations along national routes, as well as commercial centers. Jaguar Land Rover has invested a large sum to bring 82 public EV charging stations to the major routes of South Africa. This will help build the foundation for the future of electric vehicles in the country.  

Home charging stations

Charging stations can also be installed at home. All electric vehicles come with a 120-volt charging cable that can charge your battery from a household socket. It generally takes around 6-8 hours for the car to achieve a full charge. Installation of a home charging system costs approximately R45,000 and a portable charger which is, on average, R12,000.

The price of electricity is bound to fluctuate, like petrol. However, the rate for 1kWh will cost between R3.00 and R3.50, depending on where it is redeemed across South Africa. 

For example, the 2016 Nissan Leaf currently boasts an official range of 190 km and a 21.25kWh/100km consumption. If we assume that the average South African drives 30,000 km a year this equates to around R29.75 per 100 kilometers. This is visibly lower than the current diesel and petrol price. It is far more economical and worthwhile to drive an electric vehicle than a petrol or diesel car.

What could the figures look like in 5 years?

If South Africa follows a similar pattern to Europe, with regards to Electric Vehicles, we can expect to see a larger increase in the number of Electric Vehicles on the South African Roads. More car manufacturers announce their intention to enter the industry in response to global trends surrounding such cars. 

According to BusinessDay, globally EV sales have grown enormously since 2012 and it is predicted that by 2025, 11% of cars that are sold globally will be electrically powered. 

If South Africa follows the same growth path as the rest of the world, there is a possibility that we will have more than 145,000 EV’s on our roads by 2025, as Jaguar Land Rover SA predicted not so long ago. 

Image Source:

Rough Estimate of Electrical Vehicle figures from 2019-2025

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