South Africa sets plan for electric vehicle

Jacob-Zuma03 May 2013, Johannesburg – South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, DTI, has announced incentives to aid the establishment of electric vehicle industry in the country.

These include incentives for manufacturers and tax incentives for consumers.

At the launch of the Electric Vehicle Industry Roadmap in Johannesburg, Thursday, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said South Africa should not be “left behind” in greening technologies and inititiatives, adding that there was an overwhelming case for the transport industry to reduce its carbon footprint.

“We are well aware that as development takes place, transportation demand will grow. What is absolutely evident is that vehicle manufacturing must adopt new technology (for lesser emissions),” Davies said.

South Africa is the 13th largest global emitter of carbon dioxide. The automotive sector is one of the country’s most carbon-intensive, accounting for approximately 20% of emissions; it is also the third-largest contributor to air pollution in the country.

The DTI believes a local electric vehicle industry would help mitigate the impact of harmful gases on the environment while promoting investment and job creation in the automotive industry.

The roadmap proposes an incentive package, to be incorporated within the Automotive Production Development Programme, APDP, for manufacturers that produce electric vehicles.

The APDP aims to raise the volume of cars manufactured in South Africa to 1.2-million annually by 2020 as well as to diversify the automotive components chain.

“The proposal is that we will incentivise the automotive sector to manufacture electric vehicles in South Africa by introducing a very generous quota for manufacturing under the APDP to benefit from the overall incentive scheme,” Davies said.

Manufacturers who produced 5 000 electric vehicles annually would qualify for the incentive, with the government reimbursing them for 35% of their production costs over three years, according to the roadmap.

The DTI said it was also looking at various possible tax incentives to encourage South Africans to buy electric vehicles.

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