The electric vehicle (EV) wave continues to surge in South Africa, with 2024 promising exciting new models ready to hit the roads. In 2023 we saw a spike in new EV models into the SA market. This is set to increase as new players enter this space, which we cover in the SA EV preview 2024.

However, while at least seven new EV models are confirmed for launch this year, there’s a notable absence: major car brands with local production or popular models haven’t officially announced their EV offerings. This wait-and-see approach likely hinges on the government’s potential incentives and subsidies for the industry. For many carmakers, possible price cuts could be the tipping point convincing buyers to go electric.

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So, who’s boldly bringing their electric offerings to South Africa in 2024? It seems smaller brands with lower volumes are leading the charge, showcasing their confidence in the growing EV market:

BYD Dolphin

The “Chinese Tesla,” Build Your Dreams (BYD), expands its South African presence with the Dolphin. This EV follows on from the Atto 3 it introduced last year. The Dolphin is a hatchback targeting affordability. This competitor to the GWM Ora 3 boasts a 400 km range and fast-charging capabilities, making it ideal for urban commutes. Odds are it will be SA’s cheapest EV when it goes on sale.

  • Engine power/torque: 70 kW/180 N.m (Dynamic)
  • 0-100km/h: 12,3 seconds (Dynamic)
  • Range: 340km (WLTP)

Lotus Eletre

Lotus Eletre

At the other end of the scale is the Lotus Eletre. This high-performance SUV marks Lotus’s first ever SUV. It is a stark contrast to lightweight sportscars such as the Elise and Exige, former staples of the brand. The Eletre caters to a new audience seeking luxury and thrilling performance with its powerful motor and impressive 600 km range.

  • Engine power/torque: 450 kW/710 Nm
  • 0-100km/h: 4,5 seconds
  • Range: 600 km (WLTP)

Maserati Grecale Folgore

The SA EV Preview 2024 Italian luxury gets a sustainable upgrade with the electric version of the Maserati Grecale. Maserati has been on a new model offensive of late and its Grecale SUV is one of the newer additions to the line-up. The Folgore version offer 450 km of driving range. This Italian SUV brings sophistication and performance to the electric market.

  • Engine power/torque: 373 kW+/800 N.m+
  • 0-100km/h: 4,1 seconds
  • Range: 500 km (WLTP)

Mini Countryman SE

New Mini and Mini Countryman

The iconic Mini brand makes a electrifying comeback with the Cooper SE hatchback and Countryman SE SUV. These two city cars are aiming to bring Mini’s signature fun to the EV segment. The Countryman SE versions boast up to 230 kW of power for spirited driving fun.

  • Engine power/torque: 230 kW/494 N.m
  • 0-100km/h: 5,6 seconds
  • Range: 433 km (WLTP)

Mini Cooper SE JCW

  • Power: 125 kW/270 N.m (John Cooper Works)
  • 0-100km/h: 6,7 seconds (John Cooper Works)
  • Range: 402 km (WLTP)

Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30

Volvo already offers many hybrids and EVs locally. The Volvo EX30 and EX90 were built from the ground up as EVs. Volvo aims to cater to both ends of the spectrum with the EX30 and EX90. The EX30 promises to be one of the most budget-friendly electric SUVs in the market, while the EX90 takes the crown as Volvo’s new flagship EV with its luxurious features and 500 km range.

  • Engine power/torque: 200 kW/343 N.m (Core Single Motor)
  • 0-100km/h: 5,7 seconds (Core Single Motor)
  • Range: 282 km (WLTP)

Click here to read our Volvo XC40 Recharge driving review.

Volvo EX90

  • Engine power/torque: 205 kW/490 N.m
  • 0-100km/h: 8,4 seconds
  • Range: 580 km (WLTP)

Beyond the Vehicles

The EV revolution in South Africa extends beyond just exciting new models. Charging infrastructure is rapidly expanding, making ownership more convenient. Additionally, potential incentives and subsidies, further boosting the market’s momentum.

The Road Ahead

With a diverse selection of EVs, improved infrastructure, and anticipated government support, 2024 is poised to be a pivotal year for South Africa’s transition to electric mobility. From affordable hatchbacks to high-performance SUVs, there’s something for everyone on electric avenue.