OTHER countries have embraced electric cars, but what is happening in Mzansi?

Are people warming up to the amazing technology which is going to give us a break from petrol and diesel ever increasing prices.

SunWheels sat down with Bruno Grippay, regional director Africa-Middle East-India for Connected Cars and Intelligent Mobility coordination for Nissan, who told us everything you need to know about these cars, which are fast becoming a reality in our tech-driven world.

He said Mzansi is ready to join other countries where electric cars have taken over their roads.

“Nissan is currently working with partners including fellow OEMs (Origional Equipment Manufacturers) and the South African government to advance electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid vehicle adoption,” he said.

“Infrastructure development, more public awareness of the benefits of the new technology and EV tax breaks are what will escalate South Africa’s readiness towards mass adoption.”

He said although the adoption of these cars remains slow, the benefits of using them will eventually drive the demand.

“We expect an electric vehicle car rise of up to 2 000 vehicles on the road in the next five years. The main barrier in accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles in South Africa is currently the import duty.

“Once government reduces the 23% import tariff on electric vehicles, South Africa will experience a boost in the domestic sales of EVs,” he said

Countries which have seen more and more electric vehicles on the roads are Norway, Japan and some parts of America. This is because of the significant tax incentives or other similar support from government.

Grippay said: “For example, in some cities, you cannot enter city centres without an electric vehicle, be it a four-wheeler, three-wheeler, bicycle or an electric scooter.

“It also relates to reducing congestion, in addition to replacing combustion engines with electric vehicles. These factors will significantly reduce air pollution.”

He said the main concern with many electric cars for owners range is how many charging points are on the way if one wants to drive long distance.

“The adoption of electric cars has been slow in the country, partly due to the lack of charging infrastructure and the perceived problem this could create for drivers,” said Grippay.

The Electric Vehicle Road Trip Africa will help change this in Mzansi as these cars can make long trips, with ever expanding range.

“For example Nissan’s new LEAF 3.ZERO with 62kWh battery is capable of driving up to 385km’s on a single charge. With a corresponding expansion of infrastructure, EVs will change our perceptions of mobility and lead us towards an environmentally sustainable future,” he said.