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Electric vehicle adoption is still far away in SA, according to a Deloitte consumer survey. Picture: WERNER HILLS
Electric vehicle adoption is still far away in SA, according to a Deloitte consumer survey. Picture: WERNER HILLS

A recent Deloitte 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study of more than 26,000 consumer responses from 25 countries found that consumers are attracted to electric vehicles (EVs) because they are considerably cheaper to run than petrol or diesel cars, outweighing the concern for climate change.

The study also reveals that the decision to purchase an EV would change if the electricity used for mobility was priced similar to current fossil fuels.

With less than 10 new electric cars bought in SA during April, the survey reveals 85% of South Africans still prefer internal combustion cars; 9% want hybrids; 4% plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and only 2% would go for a full battery electric vehicle (BEV). 

Another factor to consider is that the majority of cars financed in SA cost roughly R350,000. The cheapest EV sold in SA is the Mini Cooper SE at R709,400 and the most expensive is the Porsche Taycan Turbo S costing R4m.

EV intenders are ready to pay a higher price than for internal-combustion engine (ICE) cars, but 74% still expect to pay less than R750,000.

Other known stumbling blocks to EV adoption in SA include expensive electricity, range anxiety tied to long-distance travel, and a perceived lack of charging infrastructure — though the latter is improving with an expanding network.

Motor News spoke to Dr Martyn Davies, automotive sector leader at Deloitte, who says the best move to enhance EV sales in SA should start with cheaper price tags, which should come on stream within the next few years.

The EV uptake in other global markets has some interesting results, according to the Deloitte study:

 

  • The US has the highest percentage (69%) of naysayers towards new-age power trains and 49% of Germans surveyed still prefer the fossil fuel engine for their next vehicle purchase.  
  • 42% of Southeast Asians say potential increases in the price of electricity may sway a significant number of consumers away from a PHEV/BEV purchase in most global markets.
  • Consumers who said they are not considering an EV as their next vehicle cited range anxiety and a lack of public charging infrastructure as their biggest concerns. This includes 20% of Germans. 
  • When it comes to charging, US consumers expect a fully charged BEV driving range of 840km-plus, while those in China, Japan and India are content with a range of 322km.
  • Most people in Japan, India and the US indicated they plan to charge their PHEV/BEVs at home, while demand for public charging is high in South Korea and the rest of Southeast Asia.
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