Johan van Zyl, the president of Toyota South Africa has said that the country is not ready for electric cars. He believes that the main reason for this is because of the lack of infrastructure. Van Zyl also believes that due to this, it may take up to 20 years for the country’s infrastructure to be able to support electric cars.

Why are we not yet ready for this evolution in the electric motoring world?

Simply put is that South Africa lacks the infrastructure and also import costs for these vehicles are excessive.

Toyota seems to be investing lots of effort into electric cars all over the world. However, it will take a while, though, for these cars to become mainstream in South Africa because of certain limitations which could impact success. It is a concern that the EV’s will not be able to meet the needs of the local market and as mentioned above this is mostly due to infrastructure issues including but not limited to lack of charging stations and cost.

The Dep of Trade, Industry & competition published a Green Paper last year incentivizing the local manufacture and purchase of these vehicles, and it is the hope that this policy would kick off soon after the white paper has been adopted.

Like any good businessman, seeking opportunities where there are hardly any, Toyota sees the local market as fertile ground to succeed with this venture. The Group announced in 2021 that they will invest approximately $70 billion globally in electrified vehicles.

This will include Hybrid-petrol vehicles, plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles & Battery Electric Vehicles.

The plan is to roll out at least 30 BEV models by 2030, while Lexus is aiming for 100% BEV sales globally by 2035.

Why invest so heavily into this project?

Because it is the future. What are we if we are not moving forward, advancing and increasing technology? Humans have been built to move forward and to advance.

For Toyota, this is simply the next step and they also believe that going electric and employing more diverse solutions will reduce more carbon emissions sooner as stated by chief scientist Dr. Gill Pratt.

Furthermore, this is particularly important because CO2 emissions stay in the atmosphere for a long time, which can lead to detrimental effects.

One of the biggest reasons Toyota feels so strongly about diversifying our portfolio is because they believe that this approach will work.

It seems though that it will be a few years before the above requirements are met, it is, however, exciting to see us moving into a new era of our motor industry.

Fuel Zone