Market Intelligence
Automotive South Africa

South Africa Electric Vehicles

 South Africa needs to adapt and include the provision of electric vehicles in the local market which may create opportunities for U.S. firms and consultants.

As countries globally have adopted the transition to electric vehicles, South Africa continues to finalize the framework of their national policy.

The future of the South African automotive industry is tied to the countries willingness to embrace new technologies, particularly electric vehicles.. While the demand for autonomous vehicles (driverless cars) is important, the pressing need to address climate-change imperatives will result in increased regulatory pressures and consumer demand for electric vehicles.

The local automotive industry has done initial work on the impact of retaining the current internal combustion engine focus of the industry, compared to a smart transition to electromobility. The cost of doing nothing will impact South Africa’s export volumes and earnings, with significant impacts on jobs, output and contribution to GDP.

For the South African automotive industry not to fall behind global developments and lose its edge in the automotive export market, a coherent strategy by all stakeholders in the country is needed for the shift to the production of electric vehicles. Electric vehicle sales in South Africa comprised only 92 units, or 0.02% of the total 380,206 vehicles sold in the domestic market in 2020, down from 154 units in 2019. Hybrid vehicle sales accounted for 232 units in 2020.

A local trade show, Automechanika Johannesburg will be held June 7-10. U.S. firms/consultants wanting to explore opportunities to collaborate with South African electric vehicle stakeholders are encouraged to contact Commercial Specialist Jaisvir Sewpaul, U.S. Commercial Service, South Africa at