The AutoTrader SA Mid-Year Car Industry Report includes a brand new electric car (EV) data statistics section. 

What types of electric vehicles are available in South Africa?

Below are the 5 electric cars available in South Africa:

  • BMW i3
  • Porsche Taycan 
  • Jaguar I-Pace 
  • Mini Cooper SE
  • Nissan Leaf (discontinued)

The Nissan Leaf is unfortunately no longer available in South Africa but a car buyer can buy the Nissan Leaf electric car second hand. 

AutoTrader SA has updated the 2020 AutoTrader EV Buyer Survey to understand the psychology of the EV buying South African consumer. We have now updated the study in this particular report to establish what the future may hold for electric cars.

High-Level EV data in the South African automotive industry

A very high-level look at the EV data in South Africa reveals the answer to the following questions:

      1 – Are consumers considering an electric car?

      2 – What is the current demand for electric vehicles?

AutoTrader SA data showed that there was a:

  • 211% increase in EV demand in South Africa (consumer consideration).
  • Advert Views (CAV) has increased 234% year over year in the 6 months ending June 2021.

The increases are partly as a result of:

  • Introduction of more models in the South African EV market  like the Mini Cooper SE and the Porsche Taycan,
  • as well as consumers becoming more aware of the Jaguar I-Pace

Do consumers want electric vehicles in South Africa?

AutoTrader SA’s data shows that EVs were searched for 285,000 times in 2021 so far (to June 2021) but had 91,000 searches in 2020 (to June 2020). 

While a low base in relation to the hundreds of millions of searches that AutoTrader SA sees annually, EV searches are growing faster than any other category. 

The 2021 updated EV Buyers Survey

It’s no secret that electric vehicles are gaining popularity globally and locally.

So the two big questions in our minds are:

      1 – Is our nation and infrastructure ready to facilitate and drive the adoption of EVs into our ecosystem?

      2 – Is the South African automotive industry, along with the SA government, doing everything it can to make this transition to an EV future as low cost and as fast as possible?

AutoTrader released the Electric Vehicle Buyer Survey in 2020 for the first time. The survey provides insights into perception, expectation, purchasing intent, and trust of EV brands in South Africa. In the 2021 updated EV Buyers Survey many questions are answered including:

What is the average price a consumer will pay for an electric vehicle?

  • 79% of consumers will pay up to R500,000 for an EV, which is up from 66% in the previous report. 

What is EV range anxiety, and how much range anxiety exists in South Africa?

  • Charging infrastructure frustration had a 10% drop as a concern. 

The positive thing is that our drive as an industry towards educating the consumer may be working at this early stage. While the supply volumes still aren’t quite there but this is mainly as a result of the high prices of EVs in South Africa right now. 

What are the prices of electric vehicles in South Africa?

Prices of new electric vehicles in South Africa have still dropped below R500,000 yet. This is the magic number, consumers will buy if prices come down to below R500,000. If nothing is done for new Electric Vehicles prices, the second-hand market EV could thrive as a result.

The survey also addresses questions around consumer fears about electric vehicles (EVs) such as:

  • EV Charging infrastructure in South Africa, and
  • range anxiety.

The AutoTrader SA Mid-Year Car Industry Report & EV Buyers Survey show that consumer fears about EVs seem to have dissipated a little bit. 

This may be because the OEM’s, Autotrader SA, and the industry are doing a great job of setting up our EV future by answering car buying consumer questions. 

Mainly, we’ve just got to get that new EV price point down.