Due to the high taxes imposed on imported EVs, available models start from well above R600 000 ($36,000). South Africa imposes a 43% import tax on EVs — 25% import tax and 18% ad valorem — which makes EVs unaffordable for many potential buyers. The State of The Electric Vehicle Report highlights the progress so far, and shows that growth has been a bit slow due to the high import duties and also the limited number of EV models available in the market.
The Ora R1 is on our list of 7 ICE Killers to End the ICE Age. The Black Cat has some decent specs for a $7000 EV (price in China). For $7000, you get a 33 kWh battery, 35 kW motor, and 220 km WLTP range. Let’s assume the final price in South Africa will be around $12,500 including taxes and dealer margins. The Black Cat could unlock a decent customer base if monthly payments can come in at around R3500 depending on financing conditions.
Yes Eskom may have generation issues right now but SA cannot be left behind with all other countries making moves towards EVs. Our export market for ICE vehicles is also going to dry up.
South Africa’s electricity utility company Eskom has been working with other stakeholders to promote adoption of EVs in South Africa. One of the stumbling blocks to accelerating adoption has been the high sticker prices of EV models available in South Africa.