Business & Industry Electric cars could soon be a hot commodity in South Africa

Electric cars could soon be a hot commodity in South Africa

Big auto manufacturers are pushing for South Africa to join the electric car movement.

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At the moment South Africa risks being left behind in the changeover to greener vehicles, but the good news is that Nissan, BMW and Volkswagen are in talks to bring the electric car revolution to South Africa.

Chief executive of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), said in an interview that the industry is preparing a unified stance on electrification to present to the government by the end of the year – according to

One obstacle is to persuade lawmakers to drop a 23% tariff on electric vehicles.

Improving popularity of the vehicle in South Africa is just one part of a plan, reports Engineering News. The auto-manufacturing industry makes up 7% of the country’s economy, according to Naamsa. The sector is one of the better parts of a slow economy.

Nissan’s chairman for the southern Africa region, Mike Whitfield, said:

“The country needs to move forward and bring new technologies. The rest of the world will move very fast and if we don’t get going we will be left behind.”

Seven car-makers operate plants in South Africa, from Isuzu to Toyota Motors. It’s a hub for automobile manufacture. 210 000 cars were exported to Europe last year, where Volkswagen is already retooling factories to only make electric cars. It’s just under a third of local production but makes up 60% of exports.