New data from analytics group Lightstone shows that 375 electric vehicles have been sold in South Africa since the inception of electrically powered vehicles (EV) in the country.
“South Africa is by no means an early adopter,” Lightstone said, with the group’s data showing that only 0.2% of the vehicles in the country being electric – compared to Norway, which is currently the world leader – where 6.6% of all vehicles (135,000) are registered EVs.
Optimal Energy, Nissan and BMW were the first manufacturers to introduce electric vehicles in South Africa with the Leaf in 2013 and the i3 in 2015 respectively.
“The sudden surge in sales of the Leaf in 2015 can be attributed to the launch of the BMW i3 creating renewed interest in electric powered vehicles,” Lightstone said.
The Joule from Optimal Energy was South Africa’s own locally produced electric vehicle but it never formally entered the local market. The Joule project started in 2005 and ended in 2012.
“To many of us the idea of having a re-chargeable lithium battery powered vehicle may seem like a space-aged notion; but with many office parks, shopping centre parking lots and refurbished service stations starting to include EV recharging zones; owning your own vehicle may be much closer than you think,” the data group said.
Currently, charging facilities are available in each province in South Africa, with Gauteng as the front runner with over 90 stations.
Additionally, charging at home is also a convenient option, though a qualified electrician needs to investigate a home’s electrical wiring and ensure that it is equipped with three-phase power distribution.