So, we might not have flying cars nor are we teleporting to work in Doc Brown’s time-travelling DeLorean, but the future is here! We have cars that can travel hundreds of kilometres with just a 20-minute charge from an 800-volt power source. The Electric Vehicle (EV) bug has hit, and we are welcoming it with open arms… especially with the consistent hikes in petrol prices.
The question, however, remains: why don’t we see more electric vehicles on South African roads? Firstly, they don’t come cheap. The Porsche Taycan Turbo S, for example, comes in stock standard before any add-ons, at a whopping R4 000 000. Compare that to its non-EV version, and you can just about slash that price in half. The other major setback is the lack of government incentives to go the electric route. Unlike Europe and America, there are no incentives here for making principled decisions about the cars we drive.
Let’s ignore that all for a second and revel in the EV offerings available in Mzansi. Here are our four favourites, in no particular order.
The Jaguar I-PACE has been available locally since 2019. The I-PACE is driven by a 90-kWh battery. That might not sound hugely impressive, but somehow the battery delivers 294 kW and 696 Nm of torque, a reminder that, regardless of the theme (EV or sports car), Jaguar doesn’t compromise on power. It takes the I-PACE only 4.8 seconds to hit the 0-100km mark. And then there’s the big question: how far does the I-PACE take you on a single charge? A formidable 470 kilometres is the answer. Price tag: R1 942 600.
When BMW dropped the i3 back in 2015 for the first time, everyone paid attention. She got loads of stares on the road — firstly, from naysayers hating on the German powerhouse for entering the ‘eco market’ and secondly for its looks. You either loved it or loathed it. Today, six years later, we have grown rather accustomed to seeing this pint-sized Beemer on the road. The i3 can get you an impressive 260 kilometres on a full charge. That’s more than enough for your daily commute. The BMW i3 goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. The neat, compact electric engine kicks out 125 kW and 250 Nm of torque. Price tag: R754 200 for the i3 120Ah.
Mini Cooper SE
One of the more affordable EV’s currently on our roads is the Mini Cooper SE. A pocket rocket, the epitome of fun on 4-wheels. The Mini Cooper SE brings 135kW and 270Nm of torque to the party and goes 0-100km in 7.3 seconds. With a full charge, you can reach 215 kilometres. Price tag: starting at R658 000.
It will take you only 2.8 seconds to reach the 0-100km mark in the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. This is all possible thanks to the two electric motors in this EV. The lithium-ion batteries deliver 460kW of power, and once you hit the over boost, it gets catapulted to 560kW and 1 050Nm of torque. Sure, the price tag on Taycan Turbo S can ultimately get you two 718 Cayman GT4’s with about a million-rand change, but this car is a modern-day marvel and well worth the spend.