Government to promote local electric vehicle industry

Nissan SA to provide four Leaf cars for testing

Government to promote local electric vehicle industry
Promoting EV Industry

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti), in collaboration with the Department Environmental Affairs (DEA), has produced the Electric Vehicle (EV) Industry Road Map at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

It seeks to promote the establishment of a domestic EV Industry, thereby contributing to the mitigation of the impact made by harmful gases to the environment as well as promoting further investments and job creation in the automotive industry.

Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said in a media statement that the road map will achieve the vision through a number of strategic interventions including but not limited to: demand stimulation, public education, investment support and an accommodative regulatory framework.

Davies added that EV Industry Road Map will be constantly monitored and reviewed as the industry is experiencing rapid technological advancement that would need to be taken into consideration.

Tax incentives could include a personal income tax rebate, the reduction of value-added taxes on the selling price of electric-powered vehicles, as well as reduced EV registration costs.

South Africa has already seen the introduction of hybrid vehicles over the last few years, however due to EVs providing greater benefits but having specific peculiarities, a need for a targeted framework in the form of a Road Map for their introduction in South Africa is necessary.

Government said it would also drive additional investment in local EV manufacturing operations through amendments to the existing Automotive Production and Development Programme, which currently provided original-equipment manufacturers that produce more than 50 000 units with a 20% return on projected investment in new plant and machinery.

“There are, however, some significant improvements in these incentives for EV manufacturers that produce over 5 000 EV [units], which will receive a 35% return on their investment,” Davies said at the programme launch.

Research and development support for EV manufacturers would also be provided by several parastatal and independent research organisations, including the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Industrial Development Corporation and Eskom.

The dti has called for public participation/comments in order to align the EV strategy with broader Government policies and plans. 

“In June, we will open the road map for public comment, after which an EV industry steering committee, comprising industry and government, will be established. This committee will then evaluate the input from various stakeholders and, by September, submit implementation proposals to Cabinet,” Davies explained.

The DEA announced in February, that it would, as part of a Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Pilot Programme, test a fleet of electric vehicles to determine the viability of EVs under South African conditions.

Nissan South Africa has undertaken to provide the DEA with four Nissan Leaf EVs for the initial phase of the project, which would run for three years.

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