Production of vehicles increased only a little more than 1% last year, and at best another 1% this year. The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has noted the decline of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales in Europe, China, the United States, and elsewhere and has become concerned the EV revolution could leave South Africa “behind in the global switch to greener vehicles.”
Currently, South Africa has imported fewer than 1,000 electric vehicles, and these are very expensive models which are unaffordable to the average driver. It is a dismal situation as the existing ICE manufacturing is going to start fading away (important to retain existing manufacturing jobs). Eskom is also faced with dwindling electricity usage as all consumers have drastically cut back on their electricity consumption in response to the rolling blackouts. All things being good, the advent of EV's should have been a boost to fresh manufacturing sales as well as rising demand in electricity sales for Eskom to make up their sales decline (but they do not have the capacity).
So with South Africa not yet being ready on both fronts we are losing out dramatically on the rising wave which is EVs. The big question is whether South Africa will catch up in time or will another African country take the lead?
What we do know s the World is not on pause waiting for South Africa. The supply and demand of economics dictates that someone else will fill the void if the demand grows.
#EV Will South Africa Build Electric Vehicles?
Like Germany is to Europe, South Africa is the manufacturing powerhouse of sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, it has 8 automobile assembly plants. The companies are BMW, Ford, Isuzu, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, and Volkswagen. In 2018, South Africa produced 610,854 vehicles.