The Mecedes-Benz brand identifies itself as a blend of luxury, sportiness and performance. As Co-CEO, Mark Raine firmly believes that being a luxury brand consists of 4 things: the brand element, the product substance, quality and lastly, customer service. It’s these elements that have fueled the growth and success of the Mercedes-Benz offering in any market.
EV adoption in South Africa has grown
At the start of Mark’s tenure, he quickly realised that South Africa was fertile ground to expand the Mercedes-Benz EV portfolio. With over 300 EVs already available on SA roads at the beginning of the year, it meant a huge potential for growth for the brand. He further adds that Mercedes-Benz is headed in the right direction when it comes to electric vehicles as they have committed to making sure that post-2030, Mercedes-Benz only produces EVs. Mark has challenged South Africa to transform the automotive market into an e-mobility future.
Currently, Mercedes-Benz has the following four EVs on the market:
- EQC &
Transforming the automotive industry towards EVs
Mark highlights the huge opportunities that come with transforming the automotive industry towards EVs. Whilst we acknowledge that South Africa may have power supply challenges, there are a number of consumers that have or plan to move to renewable energy sources. Mark mentions that as Mercedes-Benz’s target market is more affluent, 50% have gone off the grid and the balance is considering making the switch.
Consumers transition to electric mobility
Did you know that people in countries such as Europe and Korea have never thought about where electricity comes from? However, ever since the Ukraine war, more and more people have been starting to investigate the sources of electricity.
Consumers are asking themselves whether they should be thinking about alternative sources.
Another factor that shows that South Africa is far ahead of its time in the transition to renewable energy. South African consumers are so much more agile and willing to adapt because of circumstances they’ve had in the past.
It is important that whilst we push for an accelerated EV future, we continue to learn from other automotive industries in other countries. This will aid the setting up of the e-mobility revolution in South Africa under three core areas:
- Price: We need to give electric vehicles a fair chance in the market,
- Charging infrastructure: This is still in the beginning phases,
- Training staff: We need to train our technicians, to understand and handle any technical EV situation just as they would an internal combustion engine.
Launch of EVs by Mercedes-Benz
At the beginning of 2023, Mercedes-Benz South Africa will release the EQE, which completes the EV portfolio for Mercedes-Benz. To follow the EQE later in 2023, there will be the EQS SUV and EQE SUV.
According to Mark, Mercedes-Benz aims to have at least seven EVs available for sale by the end of 2023.
If you are a current Mercedes-Benz driver, in a few months’ time, you can look forward to the EQA to EQS and SUV derivatives – an electric vehicle equivalent to the ICE version you are driving.