Motoring journalist Justus Visagie has been doing street journeys in electrical autos in South Africa to indicate that totally electrical vehicles can simply cowl lengthy distances within the nation. Final yr, he drove from Cape City to Johannesburg in a BMW iX xDrive50 SUV in 20 hours and 17 minutes with TV presenter Ernest Web page. Final week, Justus drove from Cape City to Johannesburg in a Mercedes-EQS 450+ luxurious sedan in a brand new document time of 19 hours and 6 minutes, which included time spent charging the automotive. These are among the costliest electrical vehicles out there in South Africa. The Mercedes-EQS 450+ sedan begins from about R2,615,700 ($140,874). The BMW iX xDrive50 SUV begins from R 2,204,400 ($118,742).
This week, Justus Visagie set one other document by driving a BMW i4 M50 sports activities sedan from BMW Joburg Metropolis to BMW Cape City Metropolis in 19 hours and quarter-hour. This was the primary try at setting a document from Johannesburg to Cape City. Beforehand he had executed the drive ranging from the opposite aspect, Cape City to Johannesburg. This time, he additionally cut up the journey into two, spending the night time at a B&B in Hanover within the Northern Cape, 700 km south of Johannesburg.
“I drove throughout daylight for security, and likewise as a result of I wished to indicate that EV drivers usually don’t have to attend for a chance to cost when there are extra autos on the street,” he says. “Over a distance of over 2 800 km (Cape City to Johannesburg and Johannesburg to Cape City), I by no means encountered one other EV. Every time, I merely parked, linked the automotive to the field, and began charging,” he provides.
There are simply over 1,000 battery-electric autos in South Africa for the time being. Though the charging infrastructure is just not but as intensive as in Europe and different locations, it’s rising on a regular basis. One can now comfortably drive alongside South Africa’s main highways, and as Justus says, there aren’t any queues but a charging stations in South Africa.
Though load-shedding hovered across the stage 4 mark, it had minimal impact on both journey. “Driving north within the Mercedes, we charged the automotive in Laingsburg, Beaufort West, Colesberg, Bloemfontein and Ventersburg. Returning within the BMW, I charged in Ventersburg, Bloemfontein, Colesberg, Richmond, Beaufort West, Laingsburg and Worcester,” Visagie says. “I might need charged obsessively, but it surely grew to become a behavior to plug the automotive in earlier than going right into a restaurant or store. The quickest cost took lower than quarter-hour, and the longest took about 1 hour, which gave me time to have a meal.” Based on Visagie, he achieved a spread of roughly 500 km with the Mercedes and 400 km with the BMW.
As for the price of charging, Visagie says it got here to roughly R120 ($6.47) per 100 km or R1.20 per kilometer for the BMW i4 and round R130 per 100 km for the bigger Mercedes-EQS. “That’s good worth for cash, but it surely’s value noting that charging at house is roughly 60 p.c cheaper. Working the BMW on Eskom energy would value solely 50 cents per kilometre,” he explains.
Commenting on the excessive buy costs of the Mercedes-EQS 450+ (R2,6m) and BMW i4 M50 (R1,61m), Visagie says vehicles from luxurious manufacturers are costly, whether or not powered by liquid gasoline or electrical energy. “I’m anticipating rather more inexpensive vehicles, with a spread near the BMW’s, to enter the nation this yr. Ultimately, two-car households will discover it’s helpful to commerce one automotive in on an EV,” he provides.
Monitoring firm Netstar recorded the automotive’s progress in an effort to confirm the time it took to drive from Mercedes-Benz Century Metropolis to Mercedes-Benz Sandton, a distance of 1404 km. Visagie and his co-driver for the journey, Michael MacIntyre, left Cape City on 28 February and reached Sandton the subsequent day (1st of March), setting a brand new EV document. Netstar additionally tracked the journey from Johannesburg to Cape City.
Photos courtesy of Justus Visagie
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