Who said there was no demand for electric cars around the world, and especially in emerging markets? A lot of recent promising and exciting developments from South Africa gave us a look at what is happening in some of these markets. Although sales of electric cars have been low and relatively slow to pick up compared to similar markets around the world, there is some significant progress now, despite the well documented challenges of high import duties and taxes that are levied on electric vehicles imported into South Africa. These taxes include a “luxury tax.”
Sales of battery-electric vehicles are picking up now in South Africa as more options start to arrive on the market. Sales of BEVs for the first 6 months of 2023 have already matched the total for the whole of 2022! 501 units have been sold in South Africa from January to June of this year. One of the most exciting and highly anticipated upcoming models that will be coming to South Africa is the Volvo EX30. This vehicle will certainly shake things up in its vehicle segment, the small SUV/Crossover segment, which is now a very popular segment in the South African market.
We have some super awesome news from South Africa. Volvo Car South Africa has revealed that early demand for its new fully electric EX30 has been incredibly strong, with the local market ranking in the top ten for pre-orders in the broader Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region.
The news fittingly comes just ahead of World EV Day 2023 on the 9th of September, the fourth installment of a global celebration dedicated to highlighting the benefits of battery-powered cars and raising awareness around the need to transition to more sustainable methods of transport.
The EX30 — which is positioned as one of the most affordable full-size electric vehicles in South Africa — was revealed to the world on the 7th of June 2023, with local pre-orders opening the following day. Since then, South Africans have placed in excess of 150 pre-orders, with many more registering expressions of interest on Volvo Car SA’s website.
For context, EV sales in South Africa in the first half of 2023 totaled 501 units, according to industry representative body naamsa, with the Swedish automaker leading the sales charge in the fully electric premium C-SUV segment thanks to the performances of the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge. The scheduled arrival of the EX30 in the first quarter of 2024 means Volvo is poised to further increase its share in the fast growing EV market.
So far, the EX30 Twin Motor Performance Ultra has been the most popular derivative with South Africans, accounting for nearly half of all local pre-orders. Next comes the Single Motor Plus Extended Range at around 25% of pre-orders, followed by the entry-level Single Motor Core variant, the flagship Twin Motor Performance Plus and the Single Motor Ultra Extended Range.
“Since the EX30 was revealed, we have seen a steady flow of new orders weekly. Although we have already secured a high allocation of units for 2024, there’s an increasingly strong chance we will need to boost that figure,” says Greg Maruszewski, Volvo Car South Africa Managing Director.
He adds that the early demand proves just how interested South African buyers are in EVs, particularly when such vehicles are both high-quality products and priced close to equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.
“We worked tirelessly to set EX30 pricing at an extremely competitive level in order to grant South African consumers the chance to own an electric SUV for the price of a similarly sized ICE vehicle. Our pre-orders so far prove that we got that right,” Maruszewski says.
The five-strong EX30 range starts at just R775,900. In 315 kW Twin Motor Performance guise, the newcomer is the fastest-accelerating Volvo ever, completing the 0-100 km/h sprint in a mere 3.6 seconds. The extended-range version of the Single Motor (rear-wheel drive) powertrain, meanwhile, is capable of covering up to 480 km on the WLTP cycle. This is an exciting development, and we look forward to even more awesome battery-electric vehicles coming to South Africa.
Images courtesy of Volvo South Africa
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