The Environment

Heightened environmental regulations, to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from transportation as well as improve air quality in urban areas, have initiated the transition to cleaner forms of transportation. Globally, transportation accounted for approximately 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, with the major share resulting from passenger cars. In cities, air pollution, triggered notably by motor vehicles, is responsible for dramatic health problems. Policy impetus, such as support programmes and tight environmental targets, are now driving the market globally.


Many programmes aim at encouraging and supporting the adoption of electric vehicles [EVs]. Benefits of EVs to a country would a healthier environment through reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, lower liquid fuel imports and in the long run, the higher energy efficiency of EVs, combined with the use of renewable energy technologies, would also enhance resource preservation.

Although domestic EV sales in South Africa are still small, the worldwide rollout of zero emission EVs is increasing. It is clear that the rise of EVs is an inevitability rather than a possibility. The South African automotive industry, along with the DTIC, is not oblivious to the fact that the future and its export destinations are changing, and therefore research has been commissioned to support the evolution and advancement of electro-mobility in South Africa. Motor vehicles sold in South Africa [either imported or manufactured locally] are subject to an ‘’environmental levy on carbon dioxide emissions of motor vehicles’’. The levy is set at R120 per g/km CO2 emissions exceeding 95g/km [R160 per g/km CO² emissions exceeding 175g/km for commercial vehicles].

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