Financial services firm, Deloitte, has released its annual automotive consumer study detailing what the average South African motorists think about advanced in-vehicle technology and electric cars in the country.
The survey was sent via email to 22,078 consumers worldwide (16 years old and up), following a unique sample plan designed to be nationally representative of the overall population in each country.
While South Africans were some of the most likely to splash out on expensive technologies within their vehicles, the findings also showed that SA motorists are a long way off as to what to expect from electric vehicles currently on the market.
According to the South Africans surveyed, 55% of motorists are willing to wait a maximum of only 1 hour to fully charge an all-battery powered electric vehicle. In comparison, it currently takes 3-4 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle at super-charging stations and 6-8 hours at home.
In addition more than half want a minimum distance of more than 400 kilometers from a fully charged electric vehicle while studies show that the majority of electric vehicles currently on the market can only handle between 120 km – 320 km on a single charge.
This data echoes concerns amongst South African motor analysts who believe that the country is not prepared for alternative-fuel cars from a infrastructure standpoint.
“We don’t see a lot of electric vehicles on the road, so that shows that somehow people do not know that these vehicles are available now on our market and honestly speaking I haven’t seen any advert for these vehicles from the vehicle dealers,”said Demand Response and Energy Efficiency Program Manager at the (CSIR), Dr Peter Mukoma speaking to the SABC.
“The other thing is there is range anxiety, people are scared of getting stuck on the road with discharged batteries without any chance of recharging them , so South Africa is not ready from the infrastructure point of view.
There are a number of charging stations that are coming up in shopping malls and office parks, other than that we haven’t seen charging infrastructure on the high ways, this is something that obviously has to be taken care of,” he concluded.