Despite the challenges in convincing South African drivers to ditch fossil fuel-powered vehicles for electric alternatives, Mercedes-Benz South Africa co-CEO Mark Raine predicts that more than half of the company’s car sales locally by the end of 2026 will be fully electric.
That’s just four years from now (plus a few months), yet Raine believes the South African luxury vehicle-buying market is ready for this massive shift.
And he’s betting big on it, with Mercedes announcing four new EVs coming to local showrooms soon that it hopes will, umm, electrify fans of the badge. Even more models are coming in 2023.
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Speaking on TC|Daily, TechCentral’s new technology show (subscribe via YouTube here), Raine unpacked in an interview with Duncan McLeod what must happen in the coming years for EVs to take off in the same way they are expected to in markets like Europe and North America.
In the show, Raine chats about the state of the industry in South Africa following the Covid pandemic and last year’s riots in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Mercedes’ investments locally, including in its flagship manufacturing plant in East London, which manufactures C-Class Mercedes-Benz vehicles for markets around the world.
Raine talks about:
- Why he believes the local market is ready to adopt EVs, despite concerns about load shedding, charging networks and range anxiety;
- Whether government is doing enough to encourage the uptake of EVs (spoiler alert: it’s not); and
- Whether we can expect Mercedes to build EVs in South Africa anytime soon.
He then takes TC|Daily viewers through the EV models that Mercedes is introducing in South Africa this year: the EQA, the EQB, the EQC and the top-of-the-line EQS.
Catch the full discussion below.
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