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100km for R15 - Is South Africa's cheapest electric car worth the buy?

The Eleksa Citybug officially went on sale last week, 12 January, for an asking amount of R230,000. The cheapest electric car before this was the Mini Cooper SE at R686,000. So the Eleksa Citybug has solved one of two problems that come with EVs in South Africa, which is price. The second issue is the range that comes with a full charge.
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Source: Eleksa

But to know whether or not the Eleksa Citybug would be a good buy for you essentially comes down to what you are looking for in a car.

For starters, its top speed is only 60kms per hour, which is not fast at all but it might be perfect for commuting in your city and to other nearby places. This is a huge downside though because there are many internal combustion engine cars with similar prices that can reach much higher top speeds.

It should be noted that the infamous Bajaj Qute, which went viral last year for all the wrong reasons, has a top speed of 70kms per hour. So it's not entirely impossible to live with the Eleksa Citybug, but it's definitely something to keep in mind when considering buying it.

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Source: Eleksa

The next thing to think about is the range. For those that don't know, range means how far an EV can drive before the batteries die. The Eleksa Citybug offers a range of 100km, which can be upgraded to 200km, for an expected price of R15.

The distance on offer for the price is a bargain and it's certainly much cheaper than filling up your tank with fuel, and we all know how costly that has become.

So the Eleksa Citybug seemingly solves the main issues that come with owning an EV in Mzansi. The asking amount is decent and the cheap price that comes with charging is phenomenal. But as mentioned before, it might not fit your needs, and the top speed is a big drawback.

More about the Eleksa Citybug


The Eleksa has aircon, a digital instrument cluster, central locking, a reverse camera, USB ports, an Android tablet infotainment system, Bluetooth, and Google Maps.

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Source: Eleksa

The dashboard is plastic and the four seats are made of artificial leather. It can carry 300kgs worth of cargo when the rear seats are down.

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Source: Eleksa

The Eleksa Citybug understandably weighs a meagre 450kgs and is 1,6m tall and 2,7m long. It comes in blue, red, white and yellow and has 12-inch alloy wheels.

Lastly, the Eleksa Citybug has a 9kWh battery and a 4kW electric motor.

The company Eleksa has been around for six years in South Africa and has been importing bikes, trikes, scooters, and ATVs in that time. It is looking to partner with companies considering EVs in their business fleet or as their core business.

About Imran Salie

Editor: IT & Automotive; Editorial Assistant for Entrepreneurship

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