South Africa to Unveil First Electric Vehicle by 2026 as Part of Green Transport Transition

South Africa to Unveil First Electric Vehicle by 2026 as Part of Green Transport Transition

By Staff Writer, 06 December 2023

In a significant stride towards embracing sustainable practices, South Africa's burgeoning automotive industry is poised to roll out its inaugural electric vehicle (EV) in 2026, as announced by the country's Trade Minister on Monday (4/12).

This development aligns with South Africa's overarching commitment to a green transport transition, a pivotal element of the Just Energy Transition (JET) plan aimed at fostering a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.

The JET initiative underscores the necessity for a substantial investment of 128.1 billion rand ($6.84 billion) from 2023 to 2027 to enable the transport sector to play a meaningful role in South Africa's ambitious decarbonization agenda.

Distinguished as the foremost automotive manufacturing hub on the African continent, South Africa hosts renowned global brands such as Toyota, Isuzu, Volkswagen, and Mercedes.

The country's automotive sector operates within a globally integrated supply chain, importing components from various corners of the world and exporting the final products to over 150 countries worldwide.

Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, shared insights during a press briefing, revealing that while South Africa is already producing hybrid vehicles, the debut of fully electric vehicles is anticipated by 2026.

Patel emphasized that initial production volumes of EVs would be limited, with an anticipated surge in growth between 2026 and 2030.

Furthermore, he hinted at one manufacturer considering entry into battery electric vehicle production post-2030, although specific brands were not disclosed.

To facilitate this green transition, the government unveiled a comprehensive 68-page EV plan outlining measures such as government incentives, temporary reductions in import duties for batteries in domestically produced and sold vehicles, and the promotion of green hydrogen production as a sustainable fuel source.

The plan also encompasses reforms in network industries, encompassing freight rail and ports, alongside broader energy reforms.

However, South Africa faces challenges, notably its power crisis, as state-power utility Eskom grapples to ensure a consistent power supply.

The impending effective bans on CO2-emitting vehicles from 2035 in key markets like the European Union and the UK are highlighted as significant risks, given that they absorb nearly half of South African auto production, according to the government's plan.

Nqobile Dludla / Reuters

Related Report

The State of the Electric Vehicle Revolution 2023

Global electric vehicle (EV) stock has surpassed 30 million, and China is home to over half of all the EVs on the world’s roads. 1 in 7 new cars sold last year was electric, and by 2030, we will have 138 Million EVs.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest news, special reports, videos, infobytes, and features on the region's most notable entrepreneurial ecosystems