By 2025, Toyota SA wants 20% of its sales to be electric vehicles (EVs). A year later, Mercedes-Benz SA (MBSA) is aiming for 50%. Nothing better sums up the challenge facing the local motor industry in trying to wean consumers off the traditional petrol or diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) and get them onto its emission-free alternative.

For while MBSA’s EV offerings will be battery-electric vehicles (BEV) reliant on regular, plug-in recharging, Toyota SA is putting most of its money on hybrid vehicles using two motors — one electric and the other an ICE. On most, known as plain hybrids, the ICE keeps its electric sibling permanently charged without the need for plug-in backup. Some others have a plug-in option...

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