Monday, December 5, 2016

The need for electric vehicles in South Africa - part 1

One of the topics that seems to dominate our life in South Africa is the price of petrol and diesel. It's with bated breath that we await for news at the beginning of each month to see if the price of fuel is dropping or (as usually is the came) going up. The price of fuel is something that affects all of our lives. Not only our transport costs, whether you drive your own car or use public transport, but also the price of all goods that are transported by road i.e. everything we buy. These fluctuations in price are mainly caused by the crude oil price and the exchange rate of the Rand to other currencies, primarily the US dollar.

Electric vehicles running costs are not affected by the fluctuations in fuel price or by the strength of the Rand to other currencies. All you're paying for is the price of whatever electricity is needed to recharge the battery in your vehicle. From what I've read it appears the cost of electricity to power an electric car is roughly quarter of the expense you'd lay out on petrol or diesel to cover a similar distance in a similarly sized vehicle. If you're spending R2000 a month on fuel, then theoretically an electric vehicle would be costing you R500. That's quite a saving, especially when extrapolated over a whole 12 months. Unfortunately the price of electric vehicles is still quite high, once it gets down to a point where the extra your paying in monthly installments is less than the fuel cost saving, then I think sales of EV's will really take off.

How nice it will be not to be at the mercy of the oil price/exchange rates.