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Audi Is Bringing 6 Electric Vehicle Models To South Africa In Q1 2022

Electric vehicle sales in South Africa have been quite slow due to several factors. These include high import duties and taxes for EVs, as well as a small selection of EVs for consumers to choose from. While the high import duties and taxes remain, there is light at the end of the tunnel on other fronts. A wider selection of EVs will soon be available in South Africa, albeit mostly  in the R700,000 ($48,000) plus range for now.

Audi South Africa is launching 6 all-electric models in the South African market early next year. It is bringing the following models:

  1. Audi e-tron 50
  2. e-tron 55 SUVs
  3. e-tron Sportback 55
  4. e-tron Sportback S
  5. e-tron GT
  6. RS e-tron GT

*Pricing and product specifications for South Africa will be announced closer to launch date.

Audi has a good following in South Africa. According to Autotrader’s 2021 Mid-Year Car Industry Report, Audi is the 5th most searched brand in South Africa. BMW tops the charts. Audi should have also been encouraged by the Porsche Taycan sales in South Africa so far. Since its launch in mid-2020, the Porsche Taycan has done very well in a slow market. 26% of BEVs sold in South Africa last year were Taycans. Even though only 92 BEVs were sold last year, the fact that 24 of those were Taycans is significant. The cheapest Taycan, the Taycan 4S, starts at R2,586,000 ($156,739). The Taycan Turbo S is priced from R4,027,000 ($244,086). So, while the e-tron GT and the RS e-tron GT will fall into this category, the e-tron 50, e-tron 55 SUVs, e-tron Sportback 55, and e-tron Sportback S present more options in a different category for South Africans.

Audi’s timing of the launch is actually pretty good. The launch is coming at a time when interest in electric vehicles is growing in South Africa. Autotrader’s report also says that over 285,000 searches of EVs were conducted in the first 6 months of 2021. This was a significant increase of over 211% compared to the same period last year. The South African EV market is finally about to get very interesting after being starved of models for a long time.

BMW South Africa also recently announced that it is launching the BMW I4, IX, & IX3. Volvo is also bringing the XC40 P8 Recharge. The Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge has been so well received that the initial allocation for South Africa has already sold out before it will arrive in Q4. Although the initial allocation was for 15 cars, the fact that all 15 were snapped up months before they actually arrive in South Africa shows the potential in this market. The XC40 P8 Recharge starts at R1.2 million ($82,000), and no doubt more affordable EVs would do well if they were made available. AutoTrader’s report also says that 79% of respondents to a pricing survey said that they were willing to pay up to R500,000  ($34,000) for an electric vehicle. Therefore, while it’s good to see that more options will be available for South Africans looking to get into the world of electric mobility, the market also needs more affordable, sub-R500,000 options.

 

 
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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.

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