Electric blues

South Africa: Government sends wrong signal for electric vehicles, warns auto industry

By Xolisa Phillip, in Johannesburg

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Posted on March 17, 2023 14:39

 © The front gates of Volkswagen Group South Africa. (photo VWSA)
The front gates of Volkswagen Group South Africa. (photo VWSA)

VW Group South Africa (VWSA) together with six other original equipment manufacturers (OEM) – Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Isuzu – contributed towards a-yet-to-be-released white paper on EV production with the hopes the industry would be recognised by the South African government during the annual budget speech.

“In that white paper, we map how our journey could look like in terms of … [EVs] and charging infrastructure. We’ve had a lot of conversations,” VWSA MD and CEO Martina Biene told The Africa Report.

Biene explained that the first step for South Africa’s trajectory in EV production will be to create a framework that, at least, does not penalise the import of EVs. “Because it will start with imports and lower numbers to ramp here in South Africa.”

While there were a lot of expectations for the EV sector on Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s budget speech delivered on 22 February, he was silent on South Africa’s EV framework. He announced tax incentives pertaining to solar installations for both households and businesses.

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