It was a fantastic opportunity to attend the 2023 BRICS Summit and participate in a panel discussion discussing a topic close to our hearts—sustainability in the automotive industry. Let me share our insights and vision for a greener future.

At AutoTrader, trust is the bedrock of our brand. We understand that this trust isn’t just given; it’s earned by remaining independent and unbiased. Our loyalty lies with the car buying consumers and their interests. This trust empowers us to leverage our platform for a larger purpose, one that’s focused on promoting sustainable choices.

Promoting Electric Vehicles for a Greener Tomorrow

Our journey toward sustainability begins with electric vehicles (EVs). Our commitment is more than lip service; it’s about understanding and experiencing the transition firsthand. I had the privilege of being one of the first in the industry to embrace an electric vehicle. Living with an EV has provided insights into its benefits and challenges, including the impact of load shedding.

Beyond Reviews: Educating and Empowering

Our efforts extend beyond providing transparent car reviews. We’re dedicated to educating consumers about electric vehicles, debunking myths, and highlighting advantages. Moreover, we’re integrating sustainability measures within our tech platform. This involves tools that showcase carbon emissions, the environmental impact of various vehicles, and data-driven insights on changing consumer preferences.

Driving sustainability requires collective action. We’re not in this alone. AutoTrader collaborates with organisations like the naamsa to amplify our impact. By working together, we can accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and create lasting change.

Circular Economy and Secondhand Electric Vehicles

The circular economy is more than a buzzword—it’s a principle we embrace wholeheartedly, especially regarding secondhand electric vehicles. Did you know that the lithium-ion battery in an EV can outlast a traditional engine? This revelation forms the cornerstone of our drive towards sustainability. It’s about making conscious choices that extend the lifespan of vehicles and reduce environmental impact.

One of the significant concerns raised in South Africa is the compatibility of EVs with the current grid, predominantly powered by coal. However, one of the myths to be debunked is that – EVs have significantly fewer moving parts than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, ensuring longevity. Moreover, the charging routine of EVs doesn’t mirror the fluctuations in power availability during load shedding, making them a practical and reliable choice.

Embracing Realistic Transition

It’s vital to acknowledge that transitioning an entire fleet of vehicles to electric is a process that takes time. Realistically, it’s a journey that requires time, strategic planning, and gradual implementation. By focusing on converting a significant proportion of new vehicle sales to electric, we’re contributing to a sustainable future that aligns with the gradual upgrading of our energy infrastructure.

In Conclusion: Pioneering a Greener Road Ahead

As AutoTrader’s CEO, I stand by the conviction that we’re not only shaping the automotive industry but also steering it towards a sustainable future. The net benefit of these efforts isn’t just commercial—it’s about securing a healthier environment, a more efficient automotive landscape, and a legacy we can all be proud of. Together, let’s drive sustainability and embrace the road ahead, one electric vehicle at a time.