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SA's electric vehicle market: Opportunities and growth potential

South Africa's electric vehicle (EV) market has been slow to take off due to several factors, such as high upfront costs, limited availability of EV models and a lack of charging infrastructure.
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This is changing, however, and both private and public enterprises are introducing efficient solutions to develop the market. To add value to the market's future, more companies are developing solar-powered EV charging stations, in light of the country's unique electricity supply constraints.

Recent data collected by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) shows that 3,092 new energy vehicles (Nevs) were sold in South Africa in the first three quarters of 2022 compared with 896 during the same period in 2021.

Several key aspects of this growth have been attributed to the evolution of electric vehicle technology, including charging stations. As the world continues to focus on reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to more sustainable transportation solutions, the demand for EVs is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

The growing electric vehicle market in South Africa has not only attracted major players like Audi and Rubicon, but it also presents opportunities for us at Servest, as well as other industry players.

Servest has been providing electric vehicle charging stations for the past five years, and while the market uptake for electric vehicles in South Africa has been slow, we are now seeing a significant shift.

Eskom's inconsistent electricity provision has always hampered the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market in South Africa, with motorists reluctant to purchase EVs due to inconsistent electricity supply. To address this, in February 2023, Eskom announced it would play a major role in supporting the development of the EV sector in the country.

Furthermore, the power utility plans to replace its entire fleet of conventional vehicles with electric vehicles by 2040. Eskom is currently introducing 13,000 EVs, both utility and passenger, to its fleet of vehicles. Eskom has joined the list of local sponsors for the E-Fest with an R2.1m sponsorship that will profile the company's microgrid technology and mobility solutions.

The move towards EV charging infrastructure will contribute to the growth of the overall EV market in South Africa. There is an opportunity for us at Servest to grow the number of our charging stations, as it is expected that the adoption of EVs will increase, and ultimately lead to a cleaner and more sustainable transportation system.

As the demand for EV charging infrastructure continues to rise, we have no doubt that we will also see a good market response to this evolving market; and in turn, even more opportunities for facilities management companies already playing in this space.

About Tim Reynolds

Tim Reynolds, general manager, Technical Solutions
Read more: electric vehicles, EVs

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