EV Options remain steady
While we never expect to see major changes to the list of hybrid and electric vehicles available to the South African buyer, it’s still interesting to review one’s selection on a regular basis, and see what the market is doing.
Pretty much across the board, car prices have gone up. This is particularly noticeable in the cars that cost over a million Rand, where several have seen price increases of R200,000. A large amount, even given the already high price.
Besides that, your options have dropped to 19 different cars, down only one from last year’s review. Although, depending on who you talk to, that may be changing in the next few months.
First on our list, alphabetically, is Audi. Although they have yet to offer any type of electric vehicle in the South African market, they are currently advertising the new Audi E-Tron, and allowing interested buyers to be kept up to date with the latest developments.
In a similar vein, Mercedes-Benz are currently advertising their EQC-class. An all electric variant of the popular GLC. Although Mercedes have offered a number of hybrids in South Africa over the years, this will be their first all electric offering. Let’s hope it comes through, as their current offering of hybrids is unusually lacking, including the removal of the locally produced C350e.
Someone we have more confidence in is Nissan. Although they’re halting sales of the current gen Nissan Leaf, they have started to advertise the new Nissan Leaf. With their investment in local charging infrastructure, we’re guaranteed to see this car on the roads later this year.
BMW have just introduced the new 3 series. As is common with new models, the hybrids are not available as an option at first. As such we’ve lost the previous generation 330e. That being said, we’re still lacking a 5 series hybrid.
Lexus as always continues to offer a steady selection of hybrids across their range. They’re no longer selling the CT 200 in any form, but have recently updated the ES 300, at the same time introducing two new products to the market in the form of the IS 300 and UX 250, both available as hybrids.
Tesla continues to make promises, but have yet to deliver. A tweet last year from Elon Musk indicated the sale of Tesla cars becoming a reality later this year. We expect them more likely in 2020. However the longer they take to get here, the less of the already small market is going to be available for them.
Probably end of next year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2018
And lastly something exciting. It’s not often that a new brand brings in an EV, but that’s what we’ve got with Jaguar’s offering of their new all electric SUV, the I-Pace. It is by no means a cheap vehicle, but it stands in direct competition with the upcoming Mercedes and Audi offerings.
At the same time, the sister brand Land Rover, has introduced their Range Rover and Range Rover Sports with hybrids as an option.
Furthermore, Jaguar have invested R30 million into developing the South African charging network. Not only installing chargers at dealerships (like Nissan and BMW), but also adding stations along highways. Helping make the decision to purchase an EV, that little bit easier.
All in all it’s going to be an exciting year for electric vehicles in South Africa.