Earlier in October, Wheels24 participated in a 2000km road trip across South Africa in three electric vehicles (EVs). BMW’s i3 was a part of this epic journey, as well as Jaguar’s I-Pace.
The third vehicle, Nissan’s Leaf, was shipped in from Japan for this venture, but is not yet on sale locally.
Though the trip went by without any casualties or sudden bolts of shocks, it still highlighted a few points of concern if EVs are to become the first choice in future mobility.
Opinion on the future
After his experience on the electric road trip, Wheels24 correspondent Charlen Raymond wrote: "South Africa is on the right track with regards to electric mobility, but this trip shed some important light as to how ready we are for an electric future.
"The gripe, however, is that our infrastructure, whether it be unreliable Eskom power or a shortage of power stations, is not up to scratch to support the needs and demands electric vehicles come with. All stakeholders need to get involved if we’re to ensure that we're on board as the world moves forward."
Do you think South Africa is ready to introduce more electric cars to our market? Email us.
READ: Leaf, i3, I-Pace driven on a SA electric road trip: Here's what could go wrong
Ferdi de Vos also shared his views: "While many challenges, such as vast distances, lack of charging infrastructure and prohibitively high purchase prices continue to stifle the adoption of electric cars in South Africa, the wheel is slowly turning with rapid technological developments in terms of fast charging, range, and electric vehicle design. With all the challenges still facing EV road trippers, it is clear one needs to have a different mindset when planning such a journey. One must not be time-constrained, otherwise the experience will be hugely frustrating."
As thought-leaders and experts in the automotive industry, we compiled a short list of things that, we think, will determine South Africa's uptake on EVs in future.
* Number 10: Volkswagen South Africa is yet to confirm if the I.D.3 will reach SA in 2020 as a specific number of electric orders need to be confirmed and guaranteed before VW headquarters gives local arrival the green light.