Can electric cars work in South Africa





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  1. #1
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    Default Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Hi all,

    So I live in Boksburg and we have not had power since Wednesday evening (as I type this it's Saturday morning) and the power is only expected back at 17:00 this evening, essentially close to 72 hours.

    So it got me thinking, if motoring is going electric and it seems manufacturers are looking towards electric cars as the future, SA will battle to keep up if we can't provide stable supply for basic daily living? Something to ponder.


    So in SA in the near future if you buy an electric car you will need a generator of sorts, or go off grid just so you can get to work.

    What are your thoughts as to the future of electric cars in SA? Never mind our ailing infrastructure.

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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ray View Post
    Hi all,

    So I live in Boksburg and we have not had power since Wednesday evening (as I type this it's Saturday morning) and the power is only expected back at 17:00 this evening, essentially close to 72 hours.

    So it got me thinking, if motoring is going electric and it seems manufacturers are looking towards electric cars as the future, SA will battle to keep up if we can't provide stable supply for basic daily living? Something to ponder.


    So in SA in the near future if you buy an electric car you will need a generator of sorts, or go off grid just so you can get to work.

    What are your thoughts as to the future of electric cars in SA? Never mind our ailing infrastructure.

    Wow, three days...was it a fault they were working on?

    It seems a long time. That's a Zim style power cut.

    Anyway, electric cars...mhmmmm. I'm a sceptic that would be open to convincing.

    Maybe certain areas of SA could implement it ...who knows.

    My reservations are:

    1) how can all the power needed be generated in a clean way, rather than just by burning coal? Coz otherwise we're back to square one

    2) if power generation cannot meet demand as it is ,how can it cope with the extra demand?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Iíve been noticing quite a few bmw i3s cruising around lately, so, it seems electric cars are working in SA already .

    Iíve thought about it a little bit, just for fun, I could get one, drive to work, plug it in at work (our office has a MASSIVE solar setup), charge for the whole day Ďfor freeí and drive home. Would be quite cool I think
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Load of i3s running around in Stellies, but overall electric cars are a non-starter in ZA due to our failed electricity supply.

    JLR spent megabucks installing chargers on the N1 & N2, but how is that going to help you on a CPT to JHB drive when you rock up in Lainsburg just as there's 4 or 6 hours of loadshedding?

    Friend of mine has installed solar panels + a Tesla Powerwall, and now has enough juice to be completely off-grid. Unless you do this, having an electric car is not really viable.

    My wife's cousin has an i3, and I've done a couple of airport runs in it - once you drive electric, going back to ICE feels like going back to donkey carts, so they are the future. Just not in ZA

    We are emigrating soon, and I've been researching EVs - bang for buck, they beat ICE: I can get a brand new Peugeot e208 for around €20,000. It has a range of 330km and comes with an 8yr/100,000km warranty on the battery pack IIRC.

    The Koreans are even better: both the Hyundai Kona and the Kia Soul come with a 7yr/150,000km warranty on the whole vehicle, with a range of 490km.

    That kind of range in Europe, where every second or third petrol station has fast chargers, is very convenient.

    In Germany, especially, you get a €3000 rebate from the government if you buy an EV.
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    Iíve been noticing quite a few bmw i3s cruising around lately, so, it seems electric cars are working in SA already .

    Iíve thought about it a little bit, just for fun, I could get one, drive to work, plug it in at work (our office has a MASSIVE solar setup), charge for the whole day Ďfor freeí and drive home. Would be quite cool I think
    Would your boss be happy about you using the infrastructure the company paid for for private use? Would they pay the petrol of the other car users to make things fair?

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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ray View Post
    What are your thoughts as to the future of electric cars in SA? Never mind our ailing infrastructure.
    Yea, problem is also becoming apparent in California: California's Power Outage Demonstrates the Biggest Flaw With Tesla's Plan to Sell Everyone an Electric Car

    Or you phone these guys to come and assist once you have run out of juice ... recharging a Tesla with 3 phase at 22.08kW.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5SiuB2Hhf8
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    [QUOTE

    Wow, three days...was it a fault they were working on?[/QUOTE]

    Yes a number of faults in fact.

    I'm a fomula 1 fan and I watched a show on formula E recently and maybe I'm old school but the they sound like radio controlled cars to me.
    I understand electric is the future and will take longer to really work in SA but electric just doesn't push my buttons, let me say, yet.

    How long before they get the hydrogen cars to work long term, I wouldn't mind trying one of them.
    Last edited by Big Ray; 2020/07/18 at 11:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    You would need to fit a large enough power pack to vehicle to handle the load when load shedding or no escom supply occurs ie a generator.
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Net om so bietjie te help dat julle kan verstaan. Ek het al so iets gery vir n paar dae. Die nissan Leaf. Jy kry plugs saam, wat jy in jou gewone 3 punt plug kan plug om te charge. Daar is n 3ph plug ook wat hulle saam gee wat beslis vinniger sal laat charge. Dan kry jy sekere charge pount wat jy by jou huis op sit, wat jy dan aan jou solar connect of DB. Die punt tel dan op hoeveel amps hy kan trek, en sal dit aanpas dan. So as jy op n plek kom, en daar is nie charging punt nie, haal jy een van die ander plug opsies uit en plug in en charge dan.

    Jaguar het charge punte op gesit, so as jy Jag ry dan stop hy by dirle punt. Jy plug in en die charhing unit praat met die kar en se teen hoeveel amps hy sal charge en hoe vinnig dit sal vat. Tesla werk die selfde. Van hulle charge punte het soos n supercharger, hulle is gemerk rooi. Jou kar charge teen 480vdc dan.

    Jip. Dit is n bietjie van n tricky een in SA want als is nog nie in plek nie. Maar as jy iets soek wat jy in die dorp wil ry en jy het solar by jou huis, is dit n goeie way om te gaan. Vriend van my het n solar system by sy huis en sy werk en ry n Nissan Leaf en het n 2de kar vir backup vir lang pad en hy se dit is die geld werd.

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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Taxi's would be more shocking.
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    The entire transport / car thing will evolve to where you don't own a car.

    You rent a car that takes you where you want to go and then it goes to the next person.. Rideshare, local "bus"...

    Oh yes, there's no driver required.

    Spatial planning will also change, offices will be smaller, more in the suburbs, closer to your home and home-office will be the norm.

    I'd give the above 25 years and it will be the norm..

    But, you'd have to rent a car for a trip to the KNP....

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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    What about the Namakwa Eco Trail or Gonarezhor or ....... any where far from anywhere ?

    And, of course then there is EKSDOM.

    I do believe though that an electric vehicle would be a much better long term "investment" for in town, short trip driving.
    Much less maintenance and battery replacement can be anticipated and "saved" for.

    Insurance may well be less as well. (?)

    Depending on how the energy is generated and how the batteries are disposed of ..... they MAY be good for the environment.
    However a few big caveats in that comment.
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1949 View Post
    ... how the batteries are disposed of ..... they MAY be good for the environment.
    EV batteries, once they reach I think 80% life, they are replaced.

    Those batteries then get split into individual cell, tested, and then made into 2nd Life solar battery banks, like 2nd Life Revov and others, where they still offer one between 3000 and 6000 cycles of use, depending on use.

    What happens thereafter is a problem still as I'm not aware today of any recycling of lithium batteries.

    Only lead acid batteries are +-99% recyclable.
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    My dad installed PV/inverters/batteries at his home and office. he has 2x BMW i3's.

    1 for wife and 1 for him.

    He essentially drives in town for free.

    Also, we don't feel the effect of loadshedding at our office.
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbief View Post
    Taxi's would be more shocking.
    I see what you did there
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbief View Post
    Taxi's would be more shocking.
    Well this is where SA must start wih EV
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    What about hydrogen fuel cells supplied by solar generated electrolysis?

    And what about micro molten salt reactors?
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    Would your boss be happy about you using the infrastructure the company paid for for private use? Would they pay the petrol of the other car users to make things fair?


    The company my cousin works for in the US have EV charging in the parking lot as a company perk. He says more and more people who work there goes EV since it's quite a big incentive because you basically never have to charge anywhere else, so you never pay for charging.

    That's how it can work if the manufacturer, large corporations and government work together.
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    On a positive note. If you buy a EV bakkie and drive around with a generator on the back, you still might get good "kilometers per litre"
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    Default Re: Can electric cars work in South Africa

    An EV in isolation, does not make a lot of sense in South Africa.

    But if you have a grid tie solar setup at home, and you can use your car as the battery bank, then that starts to make a lot of sense.

    Solar/grid would charge the car, and once full would become your reserve battery for times of loadshedding. Solar after that would be used to power the house.

    I still think in a big country like SA, we would probably have a 1 ICE and 1 Electric car family setup.
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