Living with an electric car grows electric mobility and is very possible in South Africa today, but a few things need to change. 

However, it does make for a steeper adoption curve of the electric car, the longer we wait. The longer we wait the more our ICE (Internal combustion engine) vehicle fleet in South Africa will age. This will happen even quicker if we stop manufacturing ICE vehicles. 

Over 60% of our production for cars is exported by many local South African car manufactures. Our local South African economy is not big enough to sustain our current vehicle production. The fact is that Europe will not import ICE vehicles from South Africa by 2035 or even as recent as 2030 in some instances.

We just don’t have the demand. 

The automotive industry contributes 7% to South Africa’s GDP

I would argue that the South African automotive industry contributes much more than 7% if one adds all the automotive services, I would guess in order of double.

Ask yourself for example, the second hand and non OEM parts industry, tyres, etc.

If South Africa is not careful, the country will end up like Australia or even worse, Brazil. All of Australia’s vehicles are now imported, even electric cars. Which in my opinion is an expensive exercise. And Brazil has been saddled with ageing vehicle manufacturing technologies. E.g. Brazil is one of the only countries that still manufactured the VW microbus until very late, while other countries stopped. 

We need to move South Africa in the right direction.

“SA automotive inc” needs to be restructured and use corporate businesses to its electric car advantage!

Not only do government incentives and taxes on the electric car need to be restructured. The use of corporate business to assist in the transition into a greener future could prove vital to helping. There are a couple of other things we can do besides the government lowering the taxes.

If South Africa does not move quickly enough in the next 12 to 24 months. We’re going to begin seeing an ageing fleet of secondhand vehicles in South Africa. This will lead to second-hand car prices increasing because there’s only limited stock in the South African car parc. 

I’m not oblivious to the fact that taxes are an important part of the South African economy and in fact in all economies around the world. But, we need to be clever about how we increase revenue and tax collection in a sustainable way. It’s no use focusing on the now when the next 5 to 10 years are at risk.