Mike Mabasa and I had the opportunity to discuss the development of hybrid vs full battery electric vehicles in the market today. 

SA’s first hybrid vehicles

Two specific OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) like Toyota and Mercedes, have manufactured some of the very first hybrid vehicles at scale in South Africa.

Question is, with Toyota manufacturing on a hybrid first basis:

  • Is this creating a middle step to battery electric vehicles?
  • Will hybrids will be the consumer focus over the next 10 years?

Many South Africans may be skeptical about buying a fully electric vehicle now. Consumers may want to be able to take a wait and see approach to battery-electric cars. Hybrid vehicles perhaps allow South Africans to make the transition as it is the middle ground between EVs and ICE vehicles.

Is the aim to not immediately dispose of ICE vehicles. 

Some of the Asian countries like China and India, started with Hybrid vehicles before fully embracing battery electric cars. Hybrid vehicles allowed people to understand the technology better and make the digital transformation slower. The same might happen in South Africa and most parts of Africa.  

Are hybrid vehicles a middle step to full battery-electric cars?

As many of you know I have the battery-electric Jaguar i-Pace and experience the technology myself on a daily basis (follow me on Instagram for my EV journey here).

It makes me very excited as it’s a step towards internal combustion engines becoming a thing of the past. #silenceontheroads #meditation 

Maybe the big V8 will be relegated to the race track like horses were.

Technology constantly changes in the SA automotive industry 

Technology is constantly changing in the SA automotive industry and within the world as a whole. Hybrid vehicles won’t be a part of the market for more than about 20 years at the rapid rate technology is changing.  

I personally think that Naamsa is playing an important role in the industry’s adoption of new technology in the SA automotive industry. I haven’t seen Naamsa move as fast as they have in the last 10 years compared to the recent two years since Mike Mabasa has taken the reins. His leadership and contribution to the industry are much bigger than meets the eye.

There are definitely exciting things coming into 2022 for the automotive industry if we all work together.