South Africa now boasts 250-300 electric vehicle charging stations across the country, which is one of the highest ratio of chargers vs EVs in the world, according to a release by tech firm Payment24.

Payment24 ceos Shadab Rahil and Nolan Daniel note that EV uptake is often limited by range anxiety.

“Range anxiety has also been a factor, with concern about what should happen if a battery runs out of power during a trip," Daniel say. "But battery technology has improved dramatically, so EVs can now be charged overnight at home, or at a high-capacity public charging station in around 20 minutes, which would power a vehicle for 100 km or more. For most people, a 100 km range is ample for the day.”

In 2019, there were only 72 plug-in hybrid EV sales, 154 battery EV, and 181 hybrid EV sales, the release says, citing Green Cape’s Electric Vehicles Market Intelligence Report 2021.

EV uptake in South Africa has also been slow because the lowest-cost EVs available in South Africa are priced at around R600,000 ($39,759). But as more companies - including Chinese producers - produce EVs, more competition will bring the prices down

More EVs on the road will drive the installation of more charging stations outside of the major metros, making longer trips in EVs more feasible, and changing the face of road trips, Kallanish understands.

EV uptake is already causing oil companies to move to broader energy positions and is also likely to increase demand for high capacity power, creating new opportunities for small-scale energy producers.

“Payment24 is already working towards integrating EV charge point payments with fuel payments so that fleet owners and fuel stations will be able to manage all EV and ICE (internal combustion engine) payments on a single platform. This has become a must-have in North America and Europe, and will become increasingly important in South Africa in years to come," says Rahil.