Monday, February 27, 2017

BMW SA rolls out electric charging stations in Cape Town

BMW SA rolls out electric charging stations in Cape Town
Article written by Thandi Skade  for reports that BMW South Africa have unveiled a new charging station at the Constantia Village shopping centre in Cape Town.
Expanding on the three charging stations that are operational at the V&A Waterfront, the Constantia charging station is fast and secure, with a Type 2 connection enabled to charge a BMW i3, i8 as well as the Nissan Leaf. 
Despite the absence of any momentum from the government regarding electric vehicles in this country, it's good to see BMW and Nissan making an effort to provide charging infrastructure for their customers. The more charging points there are the more potential EV purchasers will be tempted into buying an electric car.
BMW SA CEO Tim Abbott said the stations had been built with the future in mind and with the ability to cater for prospective electric vehicles......Abbott said BMW and Nissan SA MD Mike Whitfield had lobbied government to approve tax incentives for electric car manufacturers. While government officials, including Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, have indicated their support for electric cars in principle, the support has not translated into action. Car manufacturers who import electric cars into the country pay a 25% tax levy compared to gas-guzzling cars, which are taxed 18%.
I wrote about the lack of any government incentives for electric vehicles in South Africa, yesterday. Once again Nissan and BMW are commendably leading the way and putting the case for electric cars. With the fact that electric vehicles are at the present time still more expensive than a petrol or diesel equivalent, it doesn't help that they're taxed more than internal combustion engine vehicles. This maybe explains why other manufacturers are hesitant to bring their electrically powered offerings into the country. Seeing as EV sales at the moment are quite slow in SA, there wouldn't be much lost in tax revenue if the tax levy on EV's was dropped totally, at least for a while. Indeed, it appears Tim Abbott shares the same sentiments.
Abbott has suggested that the government consider kick-starting public interest in electric cars by scrapping tax for the first year to make the electric vehicle market more competitive. 
I'm not sure what he means by the first year. I don't think that's a long enough period to get things really going. Maybe the tax could be dropped totally for three years and then slowly increased at 3% a year for the next six years until it's back up to the same level as gas powered vehicles. Another incentive could be to have a moratorium on toll fees for electric vehicles for five years. I'll think up some more possible incentives for a future article.

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