South Africa Needs Cheaper Electric Cars ASAP!

South Africa’s Autotrader Car Industry Report Mid-Year Report January 2022 – June 2022 has just been released. In the first 6 months of this year, 349 million vehicle searches were performed on Autotrader’s website. There were 163 million consumer ad impressions and the average time on page was 5 minutes and 50 seconds. The average mileage of the cars on site was 77,147 km, with an average price of R423,964 ($25,000). The average model year for vehicles listed on the platform was 2017. In 2022, EVs were listed 141 times so far, recording an average price of R1,870,721 ($111,000) as well as a mileage of 21,313 km. The average model year was 2020. The most available models were BMW i3, Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron.

The report also states that there has been a 27% year-on-year increase in car buyers using the fuel filter. In the past, fuel type was a secondary search filter mostly used by car buyers looking to buy pickup trucks. This increase can be attributed to the soaring petrol and diesel prices. In the first half of 2022, hybrid and electric fuel searches increased by 129% and 100% respectively, signifying strong growth in interest in electric vehicles in South Africa. Searches for diesel and petrol fuel increased by 24% and 26% respectively. The reports say that it is very important to note that this sharp increase in searches for electric vehicles is coming from a much smaller base than the traditional fuel types of gasoline and diesel. The most searched electric car in South Africa was the Audi RS e-tron GT followed by the BMW i3, Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron GT.

A survey included in last year’s report found that over 70% of South Africans would be interested in going electric if they had the opportunity to buy an electric vehicle that costs less than R500,000 ($30,000). But as we can see from the prices of the top 10 listed electric cars, only one of them is priced under R500,000, a 7-year-old Nissan Leaf at R385,000. This is a first generation Nissan Leaf. Nissan has since stopped offering the Nissan Leaf in this market. The most listed electric vehicle is the BMW i3, at R667,000. The majority of electric cars available in the South African market are from premium brands with models starting at well over $100,000 equivalent. These vehicles will still be quite expensive when they eventually land on the used vehicle market. There is an $86,000 difference in average pricing between ICE vehicles ($25,000) and EVs ($111,000).

Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in South Africa have been quite slow over the years. The table below shows EV sales over the past 6 years. South Africa desperately needs more affordable vehicles to get more people going electric.

Source: naamsa/Lightstone Auto

Let’s hope more affordable electric cars are on the way soon. There are now more right-hand drive models available in places like Australia. BYD Atto 3 and MG ZS EV are some examples of these. The new MG 4 hatchback is coming to the UK and will start at around £25,000, which is just around R500,000! Will we see these models coming to South Africa soon?

Charts from South Africa’s Autotrader Car Industry Report Mid-Year Report January 2022 – June 2022


 

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