EV Grants
Who do they really help?

Edition #97 of The Newspaper (a free publication usually found at a Woolies entrance/exit) has an article on page 20 titled "Electric car 'grants' proposed for South Africa".

According to the Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) group, "the introduction of grants and other incentives could improve adoption" of EVs. It's widely acknowledged that the market will grow over the next few years, and various EVs, i.e. hybrid (HEV), plug in (PHEV) and battery (BEV), will outsell ICE. Many countries are certainly walking this path and are implementing policies and programmes to this end. Norway, UK, US, China, India and others have incentivized EV purchasing and stimulated their markets with subsidies either upstream or directly to the end user.

TIPS: "This electric revolution risks leaving many commuters behind, further deepening inequalities between and within countries. The risk of an exclusionary, elitist transition to e-mobility is high."

ME: Sure.

TIPS: We need to foster the overall uptake of EVs as well as incentivize "an inclusive rollout that benefits all in South Africa's society".


TIPS: "A temporary cash grant or innovative financial arrangement pegged at R80 000 for BEVs, R40 000 for PHEVs and R20 000 for HEVs is recommended as the main instrument to incentivise (sic) prospective buyers."

ME: Huh?

TIPS: "This level of support can bridge the gap between electric and petrol-fuelled cars for the first two quintiles of the market."

ME: Yikes. Who smoked what??!!

Yes, the average person is being left behind in the adoption of EVs because these vehicles are very expensive. But before we talk about EVs, incentives and inequalities, let us look at who the average Joe is in SA. There are more people in SA without jobs than those who are employed. Of the employed, the vast majority only have public transport (train, bus, minibus taxi) as their option. So as far as commuters go, your average Joe in SA cannot afford vehicle ownership. Therefore, to talk about R80 000, R40 000 and R20 000 incentives smacks of out of touch. That TIPS regards only the ''first two quintiles'' and then tries to contextualize this in inequality and exclusion illustrates that they are not really considering "all in South African society". Their thinking excludes the average SA Joe. Incentives would only benefit the rich.

The saving grace of this article is in (literally, the very) last sentence, which states that there should be an introduction of EVs in public transport.

We share the sentiment that the average Joe should have access to the benefits of EVs.

It is OREMOB's mission, after all. 

Until next time,


Value retention
EV vs. ICE