Live Charging Map of South Africa (courtesy GridCars)


Charging an electric car in South Africa may not be as bad as you may think. There are over 250 public electric car chargers available for use in South Africa. To make better sense of electric car charging in South Africa, we have to separate electric car charging into 3 main categories.

Home charging

Charging your electric car at home is by far the most convenient and cost-effective one of the three categories. Not only can you charge your electric car while you are sleeping instead of “destination charging”, but charging your electric car at home is also the cheapest of the 3 charging categories. While the cost of electricity in South Africa is still among the highest in the world (at R2,56 per kWh on average), the running cost of charging your electric car at home still pales in comparison to public charging.

Car Dealership Charging

Most car dealerships in South Africa that sell electric cars have both DC and AC charging facilities (see charging types below) at the dealership. There are approximately 100 chargers located at dealerships across South Africa. Most are accessible 24/7 as public electric car charge points. Car dealership electric car charging can be categorised under Public Charging too if you will, but I have decided to keep it separate here to distinguish.

Public Charging

There are about 160 public electric car charging points across South Africa. Situated at major shopping malls, hotels, guest houses and traditional filling stations. The majority of the electric car DC fast chargers are situated along South Africa’s major highways (N1, N2, N3 and N4) and are approximately 200km apart.

Types of electric car chargers

Types of electric car chargers

AC electric car chargers

AC electric car chargers do not contain an inverter, they draw electricity directly from the 230v main electricity supply. And hence called an “AC charger” (Alternating Current).

DC electric car chargers

DC charger is equipped with an onboard inverter that converts Alternating Current (AC) into Direct Current (DC). The electrical charge, therefore, bypasses the electric car’s onboard inverter and charges the battery of the electric car directly.

Electric car battery types

Electric car battery types

Electric car batteries are the energy storage (much like the fuel in an ICE vehicles tank) that is the main factor when it comes to electric car range. Typically, the electric car battery is embedded in the floor of the car. There are 4 main types of electric car batteries:

  • Lithium-ion
  • Nickel-metal hydride
  • Solid-state batteries
  • Supercapacitors
Electric car charging plug types

Electric car charging plug types

Electric car plug type standards differ across 4 main regions of the world:

  • Japan
  • America
  • China
  • Europe

South Africa’s electric car plug types fall under the European plug type standard. Electric car plug types are names quite simply “Type 1”; “Type 2”; etc, and are different for AC vs DC electric car plug types.