South Africa Actually Shouldn’t Be That Far Behind Australia In EV Adoption


Gross sales of battery-electric autos breached the five hundred items per 12 months mark in South Africa for the primary time ever. Final 12 months, 502 BEVs have been bought in South Africa, up from 218 in 2021. With solely 1024 BEVs bought since 2018, its clear to see that gross sales of BEVs have been gradual in South Africa in comparison with related auto markets around the globe. That is because of the restricted number of BEV fashions within the nation, coupled with the excessive import duties and taxes levied on electrical autos. This implies many of the autos accessible within the international market would find yourself being fairly costly in comparison with their equal ICE autos in the event that they have been launched in South Africa. This worth distinction can be extra outstanding within the smaller car segments, making it a bit difficult to promote these EVs. Taxes in South Africa are set at 18% for ICE imports vs 25% for EV Imports. There’s additionally the advert valorem tax for EVs which pushes the price of an EV to greater than 2X that of the common worth of a brand new ICE car of an analogous make/mannequin generally.

That being mentioned, if we take a look at Australia, a market the place BEV gross sales have additionally been gradual and are actually exhibiting indicators of traction, the market reveals that South Africa ought to actually be additional alongside in comparison with the place it’s now even underneath the present atmosphere. For a very long time, Australia additionally didn’t supply a lot when it comes to incentives or coverage in comparison with different international locations within the developed world equivalent to these in Europe, China, and the US.

Let’s take a better take a look at each Australia and South African auto markets when it comes to annual car gross sales. In 2022, simply over 1 million autos (1,081,429), have been bought in Australia. In South Africa, nearly half of that have been bought in 2022 (528,963). Taking a look at among the widespread autos within the high of the gross sales charts in each international locations, the Toyota Hilux pickup was the highest promoting car in Australia, promoting 64,391 items in 2022. The Hilux was additionally the highest promoting car in South Africa, promoting nearly 50% of these Aussi numbers (32,203). Toyota was the highest promoting model in each international locations, promoting 231,050 items in Australia and in South Africa promoting near 60% of the numbers from down underneath (132,035). The Isuzu D-Max pickup numbers have been a lot nearer for each international locations as seen in Desk 1.

Desk 1: Snapshot of each the Australian & South African Automobile Gross sales Market

As you may see, gross sales of comparable autos in each international locations can provide us a reasonably good indication of each markets. OEMs with EVs which are doing in Australia properly ought to subsequently be inspired and fewer skeptical about how their EVs will honest if launched to the South African market.

Wanting on the electrical car gross sales facet of issues, over 30,000 BEVs have been bought in Australia in 2022 in comparison with solely about 500 in South Africa. BEV gross sales in Australia have been 60 occasions the variety of BEVs bought in South Africa in 2022. That hole appears method too massive if you happen to examine with the overall measurement of the car market. Because of the excessive import duties and taxes for South Africa, it might be a bit powerful for the BEV market to imitate the overall market and obtain round 50% of the gross sales in Australia.

Promoting about 15,000 BEVs in South Africa underneath the present tax atmosphere may very well be powerful, however South Africa might obtain perhaps gross sales of round 7,500 as proven in Desk 2. Whereas there are fairly a variety of BEVs which are bought in each international locations from the likes of BMW, Volvo, Mercedes Benz, and others, there are far more BEV fashions accessible for customers to purchase in Australia as in comparison with South Africa. Australia additionally has a spread of extra inexpensive BEVs from OEMs equivalent to Hyundai, Kia, MG, and BYD that aren’t but accessible in South Africa however will surely assist transfer gross sales if supplied in South Africa.

Here’s a desk exhibiting the gross sales efficiency of some widespread BEVs and a few that aren’t accessible  in South Africa that I really feel ought to be supplied within the South African market.

Desk 2: Australia vs South Africa BEV Gross sales 2022

Supply: Australia Electrical Automobile Council, naamsa, and Lightstone Auto

The South African market is promising, for instance, Volvo supplied a restricted launch of some fashions in South Africa final 12 months they usually have been bought out in 24 hours underneath this identical punitive tax regime. Shoppers can solely purchase what is obtainable available in the market. If all these fashions supplied in Australia such because the Hyundais, Kias, MGs, and particularly Teslas have been accessible in South Africa, there can be an enormous leap in gross sales even underneath the present circumstances. I’ve spoken with lots of people in South Africa who’re ready for Teslas to be supplied available in the market earlier than switching to an EV. Its seams Tesla is the “electrical model” individuals need, plus some really feel a particular connection to Elon who’s from South Africa.


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