Time for me to do my best impression of Adam Savage. I want to bust a few myths today. There seems to be so much discussion around the technology associated with electric cars at the moment – and I struggle to find data and facts in amongst the spin. I feel well qualified to add some common-sense to this debate. Apart from my thirty years in the technology industry and having studied Science at the University of Sydney instilling a discipline of utilizing research and data rather than fanciful opinion, I also have a long history with electric car distance comparison.

I bought my first hybrid fifteen years ago and I have used a total of seven fully electric or electric hybrid vehicles as my main vehicle in the ensuing period. On 18 August 2005, a former Fairfax editor, Linton Besser, wrote a story on my push to have Dubbo City Council use hybrid vehicles and I was the first Mayor in the nation to use an electric vehicle as to the main Mayoral vehicle. I currently drive a Tesla which I purchased in March last year and it now has over 40,000km on the odometer. So with that background, we should explore some of the wild statements being made by people either displaying ignorance or with vested interests. Charge time. I have heard anywhere from 5 minutes to several days quoted. There are a variety of types of chargers and companies providing charging infrastructure.

Tesla opened a Supercharger station this week in Dubbo and they are the best known with 12,888 Superchargers across the world. Tesla chargers will only charge Tesla cars but there are a variety of universal charger networks that will charge all-electric vehicles (including Teslas) with appropriate adapters. You have different connectors – such as CHAdeMO and J1772 and Type 2 and Tesla – and different suppliers of the infrastructure – such as Tesla and NRMA (one to be opened in Dubbo shortly) and Chargefox and more. Some are free to charge and some charge a rate that is comparable to your home electricity costs. The all-important question though – how fast?

Just like your mobile phone, the charging rate slows as it nears full capacity but my car will charge at a Supercharger at 600km/hour. I pay nothing to charge at a Supercharger. At home, I charge at 80km/hour and I use solar panels to charge BUT if I was paying for electricity, it would cost about $15 to ‘fill up.’ New V3 Superchargers are being rolled out by Tesla which will charge at 1500km/hour. Range. One of the issues with some of the early electric vehicles was range. An earlier electric car I drove had a range of 170km. Perfect for my job in attending to events in Dubbo but not great if I needed to drive to Sydney daily. A reduction in battery price and increased efficiency means that the range of electric vehicles is constantly improving.

My current car has a range of 632km on a single charge – even further if I drive slowly. The average Australian drives 15,530km per year or just under 300km per week. Many reasonable priced new electric cars are coming out with a range of over 270km per charge. For most people, they can then charge them once or twice a week. There are also many examples of people that have driven around Australia in electric vehicles. Charging stations are typically 200km apart. On a long trip, you can drive for 2 hours and have a 20-minute break while topping up. There are currently about 6,400 petrol stations across this nation but only about 1,000 electric charging stations.

It is early days and that ratio will change. I think you will start to see some of the petrol stations adding electric charging stations as it is a logical step for them. This lack of charging infrastructure is a current weakness but one that will be addressed over time. Cost. Many people point to a Tesla Model S – with a starting price of $120K – as the prohibitive factor in purchasing an electric vehicle. There will be at least eight all-electric cars available in Australia by the end of the year and some will start below $50,000. That may still seem expensive but think of the total cost of ownership.

Over a five-year period, the cost of owning a vehicle is the purchase price minus the resale price plus the ongoing fuel and maintenance and insurance/registration costs. At the average distance traveled by a vehicle with average fuel economy and average petrol prices with CPI built in and adding in regular maintenance, an internal combustion engine (ICE) car would cost almost $16,000 in ongoing costs excluding insurance and registration. There is more to wear out on an ICE car as well so the resale value of a car with almost 80,000km on the odometer would be less.

An electric car, assuming similar insurance and registration costs, would reduce the $16,000 running costs dramatically and would lose fewer dollars in resale value. Suddenly the $50,000 electric vehicle stacks up quite well against a $30,000 ICE vehicle. Utes and performance. I was once a hot-headed young twenty-something with my V8 253 Holden HZ Ute with a modified exhaust that probably damaged my hearing when I put my foot down.

The Toyota Hilux ute has been quoted as the most popular vehicle in Australia and the accusation is that if we go to electric vehicles it will destroy modes of transport for tradies and for people who want to have weekend fun! How ridiculous. My old ute could do 0-100 in 9.1 seconds. The Toyota Hilux struggles to get below 10 seconds. One of my previous electric cars was a Nissan Leaf which was purchased for under $30,000 and it had 0-100 time of fewer than 8 seconds.

The Tesla Model S can do 0-100 in 2.6 seconds. There are people in our nation right now who have done manual conversions of their Toyota Hilux from ICE to electric. The performance is fantastic and the range is only limited by the amount of battery power provided. Electric cars can have towbars and can be just as much fun as an ICE. This is probably one of the silliest arguments put forward so far. Percentage of sales. I do some talks for different groups wearing the hat of a futurist. In those talks, I predict that, regardless of government intervention, 20 percent of new car sales across the world will be electric cars by 2025. In the current debate, there has been a target of 50 percent of all new car sales to be electric by 2030. Both figures are eminently achievable.

Across the world, new car sales for 2018 show fascinating results. Norway already sits at 49.1 percent. Iceland is at 19 percent. Sweden and the Netherlands are at 8.2 and 6.5 percent respectively. While the US is only at 2.1 percent, California has specific incentives to reduce air pollution and, with a population of 40 million, sits at 7.8 percent of new car sales. Australia, through a distinct lack of leadership, sits at 0.2 percent. This is one of the lowest in the world. That will soon start to change. The electrical network. The argument is that if everyone changed from ICE to electric cars, the network couldn’t handle the load. We need to look at the numbers.

There are 1.1 million new cars sold in Australia each year. If 20 percent were electric, that would be 220,000 in one year. Electric cars use about 16kWh per 100km. At the average distance driven, 220,000 cars would add up to 3.4 billion kilometers driven. That is a total of 512GWh of electricity. In comparison to Australia’s total electricity consumption, that is in the vicinity of 0.22 percent. Put another way, the 33 wind turbines at Bodangora produce 0.19 percent of the electricity used in Australia. We have six years before 2025 when we will hit 20 percent of new car sales and we will only need to add 0.22 percent to the total production of electricity of each year we hit our 20 percent.

It will be some time before all 19.2 million cars on our roads are electric but even if every single car magically transformed to electric tomorrow, total electricity consumption would add less than 20 percent to our current usage. Don’t forget that oil refineries use power as well so if all oil refineries stopped producing oil tomorrow, there would be more power available, which leads to my next myth. It takes 7kWh to refine 5 liters of petrol for an ICE to travel 47km.

An electric car can travel 44km on 7kWh. Stop refining petrol and the grid will have all the power you need. I have researched the data on this from many angles and, although the 7kWh for the refining of 5 liters of petrol is about right, the 7kWh does not all come from the grid. There is a power used by a refinery that comes from the crude itself and transportation that is not from the grid and losses in energy efficiency so a more accurate figure might be 1kWh of actual electricity provided by the grid for 5 liters.

The more accurate comparison might be the energy saved by not refining oil might translate to 6km of travel not 44km of travel. A saving nonetheless but not a complete replacement. These are the most common myths that have been thrown around. Look on some EV forums or talk to some EV owners and find out the facts to satisfy yourself that an EV world is a world we will end up with – not necessarily through government intervention but by simple market demand.

 

 

Electric Car Distance Comparison

There seems to be so much discussion around the technology associated with electric cars at the moment – and I struggle to find data and facts in amongst the spin. I feel well qualified to add some common-sense to this debate. Apart from my thirty years in the technology industry and having studied Science at the University of Sydney instilling a discipline of utilizing research and data rather than fanciful opinion, I also have a long history with electric vehicles.

I bought my first hybrid fifteen years ago and I have used a total of seven fully electric or electric hybrid vehicles as my main vehicle in the ensuing period. On 18 August 2005, a former Fairfax editor, Linton Besser, wrote a story on my push to have Dubbo City Council use hybrid vehicles and I was the first Mayor in the nation to use an electric vehicle as to the main Mayoral vehicle. I currently drive a Tesla which I purchased in March last year and it now has over 40,000km on the odometer.

So with that background, we should explore some of the wild statements being made by people either displaying ignorance or with vested interests.

A Tesla Model S vehicle charging at the Stables in Mudgee. Photo: Plugshare

Charge time. I have heard anywhere from 5 minutes to several days quoted. There are a variety of types of chargers and companies providing charging infrastructure. Tesla opened a Supercharger station this week in Dubbo and they are the best known with 12,888 Superchargers across the world. Tesla chargers will only charge Tesla cars but there are a variety of universal charger networks that will charge all-electric vehicles (including Teslas) with appropriate adapters. You have different connectors – such as CHAdeMO and J1772 and Type 2 and Tesla – and different suppliers of the infrastructure – such as Tesla and NRMA (one to be opened in Dubbo shortly) and Chargefox and more. Some are free to charge and some charge a rate that is comparable to your home electricity costs. The all-important question though – how fast? Just like your mobile phone, the charging rate slows as it nears full capacity but my car will charge at a Supercharger at 600km/hour. I pay nothing to charge at a Supercharger. At home, I charge at 80km/hour and I use solar panels to charge BUT if I was paying for electricity, it would cost about $15 to ‘fill up.’ New V3 Superchargers are being rolled out by Tesla which will charge at 1500km/hour.

Range. One of the issues with some of the early electric vehicles was range. An earlier electric car I drove had a range of 170km. Perfect for my job in attending to events in Dubbo but not great if I needed to drive to Sydney daily. A reduction in battery price and increased efficiency means that the range of electric vehicles is constantly improving. My current car has a range of 632km on a single charge – even further if I drive slowly. The average Australian drives 15,530km per year or just under 300km per week. Many reasonable priced new electric cars are coming out with a range of over 270km per charge. For most people, they can then charge them once or twice a week. There are also many examples of people that have driven around Australia in electric vehicles. Charging stations are typically 200km apart. On a long trip, you can drive for 2 hours and have a 20-minute break while topping up. There are currently about 6,400 petrol stations across this nation but only about 1,000 electric charging stations. It is early days and that ratio will change. I think you will start to see some of the petrol stations adding electric charging stations as it is a logical step for them. This lack of charging infrastructure is a current weakness but one that will be addressed over time.

Cost. Many people point to a Tesla Model S – with a starting price of $120K – as the prohibitive factor in purchasing an electric vehicle. There will be at least eight all-electric cars available in Australia by the end of the year and some will start below $50,000. That may still seem expensive but think of the total cost of ownership. Over a five-year period, the cost of owning a vehicle is the purchase price minus the resale price plus the ongoing fuel and maintenance and insurance/registration costs. At the average distance traveled by a vehicle with average fuel economy and average petrol prices with CPI built in and adding in regular maintenance, an internal combustion engine (ICE) car would cost almost $16,000 in ongoing costs excluding insurance and registration. There is more to wear out on an ICE car as well so the resale value of a car with almost 80,000km on the odometer would be less. An electric car, assuming similar insurance and registration costs, would reduce the $16,000 running costs dramatically and would lose fewer dollars in resale value. Suddenly the $50,000 electric vehicle stacks up quite well against a $30,000 ICE vehicle.

Utes and performance. I was once a hot-headed young twenty-something with my V8 253 Holden HZ Ute with a modified exhaust that probably damaged my hearing when I put my foot down. The Toyota Hilux ute has been quoted as the most popular vehicle in Australia and the accusation is that if we go to electric vehicles it will destroy modes of transport for tradies and for people who want to have weekend fun! How ridiculous. My old ute could do 0-100 in 9.1 seconds. The Toyota Hilux struggles to get below 10 seconds. One of my previous electric cars was a Nissan Leaf which was purchased for under $30,000 and it had 0-100 time of fewer than 8 seconds. The Tesla Model S can do 0-100 in 2.6 seconds. There are people in our nation right now who have done manual conversions of their Toyota Hilux from ICE to electric. The performance is fantastic and the range is only limited by the amount of battery power provided. Electric cars can have towbars and can be just as much fun as an ICE. This is probably one of the silliest arguments put forward so far.

 

 

Percentage of sales. I do some talks for different groups wearing the hat of a futurist. In those talks, I predict that, regardless of government intervention, 20 percent of new car sales across the world will be electric cars by 2025. In the current debate, there has been a target of 50 percent of all new car sales to be electric by 2030. Both figures are eminently achievable. Across the world, new car sales for 2018 show fascinating results. Norway already sits at 49.1 percent. Iceland is at 19 percent. Sweden and the Netherlands are at 8.2 and 6.5 percent respectively. While the US is only at 2.1 percent, California has specific incentives to reduce air pollution and, with a population of 40 million, sits at 7.8 percent of new car sales. Australia, through a distinct lack of leadership, sits at 0.2 percent. This is one of the lowest in the world. That will soon start to change.

The electrical network. The argument is that if everyone changed from ICE to electric cars, the network couldn’t handle the load. We need to look at the numbers. There are 1.1 million new cars sold in Australia each year. If 20 percent were electric, that would be 220,000 in one year. Electric cars use about 16kWh per 100km. At the average distance driven, 220,000 cars would add up to 3.4 billion kilometers driven. That is a total of 512GWh of electricity. In comparison to Australia’s total electricity consumption, that is in the vicinity of 0.22 percent. Put another way, the 33 wind turbines at Bodangora produce 0.19 percent of the electricity used in Australia. We have six years before 2025 when we will hit 20 percent of new car sales and we will only need to add 0.22 percent to the total production of electricity of each year we hit our 20 percent. It will be some time before all 19.2 million cars on our roads are electric but even if every single car magically transformed to electric tomorrow, total electricity consumption would add less than 20 percent to our current usage. Don’t forget that oil refineries use power as well so if all oil refineries stopped producing oil tomorrow, there would be more power available, which leads to my next myth.

It takes 7kWh to refine 5 liters of petrol for an ICE to travel 47km. An electric car can travel 44km on 7kWh. Stop refining petrol and the grid will have all the power you need. I have researched the data on this from many angles and, although the 7kWh for the refining of 5 liters of petrol is about right, the 7kWh does not all come from the grid. There is a power used by a refinery that comes from the crude itself and transportation that is not from the grid and losses in energy efficiency so a more accurate figure might be 1kWh of actual electricity provided by the grid for 5 liters. A more accurate comparison might be the energy saved by not refining oil might translate to 6km of travel not 44km of travel. A saving nonetheless but not a complete replacement.

These are the most common myths that have been thrown around. Look on some EV forums or talk to some EV owners and find out the facts to satisfy yourself that an EV world is a world we will end up with – not necessarily through government intervention but by simple market demand.

It’s getting the Model 3’s larger 2170-size cells?” I ask. “No, the battery is unchanged” they reply. “Same battery?” I tilt my head. “Same battery,” they repeat. “It’s not bigger?” “It’s the same battery,” they say again. “But its range is going from what to what?” I ask. “The Long Range goes from 335 miles to range to 370. In general, 10 to 12 percent more.”

In fact, the drivetrain is fundamentally unchanged except for one bullet-point difference: its existing front drive unit is replaced by a repackaged version of the Model 3’s more efficient rear one. But that’s one of those easy explanations that obscures the actual answer. They tick through a few of the announced battery sizes and ranges for European EVs headed our way, and their ratios are universally terrible. The reason why the trio emphasizes is that they’re not treating their cars as synergistic wholes.

The Model 3’s motor is a permanent-magnet type, which is more efficient than the induction one it replaces. Back when Angus McKenzie and I visited Fremont in 2011—then an abandoned shell of a factory—Musk walked us past some motors they were hand-assembling, and I remember asking, “Why are these induction motors? Aren’t they less efficient?” “The difference isn’t much” he replied, “And we avoid expensive magnets.”

Tesla’s skill at cost-analyzing an EV as a total system is colossally more sophisticated. The efficiency of every part is weighed against the cost of battery cells, and now, that analysis tilts in favor of the permanent-magnet motor being used on the front axle. I ask, “Doesn’t the permanent-magnet motor create drag when its power is not needed? An induction motor can be switched off, right?” True, but in light load conditions, the Model S is a front-wheel-drive car; the rear motor engages for extra power. So the front unit is never really idle. It’s either making power, regenerating it under braking, or idle at a stop.

A big diagram is projected on a screen. It’s the flow of energy entering the Model S and then how it’s gradually divided and consumed. It looks like a river and its tributaries but in reverse. We see kW-hr going in, branches listed as aero losses, tire drag, etc., heading out. The Model S’ brain trust points to these branches and explains how conventional car companies ask their suppliers for their best, most efficient parts at the lowest prices, and then assemble them. Tesla intricately comprehends the whole car as a system of energy trade-offs. They lead me downstairs, into the battery lab, to see some examples.

Amid the “don’t touch” cables, shaker tables, monitors of blinking lights, and even a glass container of bubbling clear liquid (what’s that?) I’m shown tires. Tires? Pairs of current and new Model S tires, for both the Performance and Long Range versions, side by side. Lars points out the new tread patterns, changes in the multiple rubber compounds employed across the tread making them more efficient, and their lightness. He hands me the current and new wheels’ bearings. Turn them: The new one is noticeably easier to twirl. The costs of making tiny improvements to such seemingly unrelated details are constantly weighed against one another other and their impact on battery size and driving range.

Hmm, so if its battery is unchanged, is the Model S getting the new “V3” 250-kW Supercharging rates? There’s an awkward pause. “Not at this time” is the careful answer, but the car can handle a 200-kW Supercharging rate. That leaves the cheaper Model 3 (which was designed for V3) with a charging advantage. The allying counter-argument is that the current Superchargers are set to rise from 120 kW to 145 or 150, reducing the Model S battery’s charge time from 37 minutes to 26. And with 370 miles of range, you’re reducing how often you’ll stop anyway, and not stopping is quicker than the fastest charging, right?

Before heading to Fremont to start our trek south, we walk outside and belt into the latest Model S Performance version (Model 3 front motor, the existing large rear motor) for a hot lap around Palo Alto.

As the development engineer charges through corners, he reels through technical descriptions of every road irregularity and how the car is making them disappear. He notices everything—at one point exclaiming, “Flying squirrel! Did you see that?” This is a part of the Model S’ update wasn’t on my radar at all.

Its two key components are the air suspension’s four-corner adjustable damping and also the governing software that sounds suspiciously like Track mode. “That’s because it’s the same team that developed it.” Although the ride has been altered—stiffer rear springs and softer fronts so the car undulates more as whole reducing pitching—the software is fast-retuning the suspension in response to an array of sensors. Whereas other systems use “look-up tables” to guesstimate setting adjustments, this, like Track mode, is running a real-time physics model and comparing the results to its predictions.

Before, ride height was determined purely by speed, lowering the chassis as velocities rose. Now it’s predicted by the road’s speed limit data, embedded in the maps. The driver wiggles the steering wheel from its straight-ahead position. On-center feel is improved by quickly stiffening the appropriate corners of the car, raising the load on those tires. That’s when the wider width of the tread’s center rib comes into play. We’re really hauling, the car seemingly repaving the road as we arrive, when I mention, “It’s amazing that any sedan can do this, let alone a 7-year-old one.” Lars corrects me. “That’s because this isn’t the same car. It’s been constantly changing. For instance, these are the car’s third different lower front A-arms.”

At Fremont, the place is bustling like Main Street at Disneyland. People are milling in the showroom; tours are assembling and heading into the factory. We set up a quick video shot in the parking lot with the Long Range sedan we’ll be taking, and a security guy asks what we’re doing. He’s shooed away with a curt, “Elon says it’s OK.”  Remember that if you ever visit Fremont.

We’re told to set the climate control at 72, fan speed at 2, drive at the speed limit, and on the freeway to keep between 65 and 70 mph. We unplug the charging cable, I buckle into the front seat, and our video producer hops in back. The Tesla’s screen says the car has 370 miles of range.

Surprisingly, the nav system plots our route down the 101, over the steep Highway 152 pass, and dumps us onto Interstate 5, with its famous obstacle, the Grapevine, which is basically a mountain where it sometimes snows at its summit in the winter. “Is this really the best way?” I ask, thinking that following Highway 101 all the way along the coast, with its relatively gentler grades, would be less of a range challenge. “Just follow the map,” we’re told. (A quick side note: Technically, we are not driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We’re leaving Fremont, which is at the same latitude as Redwood City, about 26 miles south of San Francisco. But it’s still technically the Bay Area, which is what really matters in this test.)

At first, I’m being careful. Every drop in the battery level briefly scares me. Not only are we not recharging, but I’ve also decided to try it non-stop, too—zero pit stops into roadside rest areas—to avoid any possible losses. Tesla said that sort of bladder-busting measure is unnecessary, but hey, let’s see how far we can make it? Video copywriter Noah Dates in the back seat reluctantly agrees, as do the guys in the photo/video chase vehicle (though I’m sure they’re lying).

Most hypermilers do their best work alone to maximize range. With Noah in back, I already am suffering a 180-pound weight penalty, which is a test like this could prove crucial. Tesla says not to worry. To me, it’s also a more realistic test of a couple making a run between California’s two largest cities. Also, Tesla PR has been monitoring the weather. There will be a headwind as we head south. They express concern that it could affect the test. They want us to go for it but add they can come to fetch us if things get tight.

On the climb up the 152, I’m following chugging trucks in the right lane, but once we’re on the 5, I’m noodling between the super-fast left lane and the slowish semis to the right, being conservative and only passing when I can with normal acceleration. But driving between 65 and 70 mph on the I-5 is pretty much impossible. I’m driving pretty much like every other normal road warrior on this stretch.

All along the way, I’ve been using Navigation with Autopilot and wondering how things are going at that Autonomous event up in Palo Alto. This system not only provides radar-based adaptive cruise control but also suggests lane changes to pass when the side cameras say the coast is clear (just tap the turn signal). It’s pretty great—when a pickup merged from the right, it saw it and slowed; only once did I wonder about an approaching car and overrule its lane change with a tug back at the steering wheel.

And then we came upon a semi truck. We automatically changed lanes to pass the big rig, and as we got alongside, I realized it was actually a Tesla Semi doing testing at the same time. We radioed the photo car to find us (they were stopped somewhere, “getting something to drink”). In all my hand gesticulating, I’d loosened my grip on the steering long enough for the Autopilot to scold me and shut down. Geez, this is ironic. But I deserved it. My bad. Unfortunately, the only way to get on its good side again is to do a stop-and-go penalty, and we’re not stopping—right, Noah? He nods. From here on out, I have the pilot the car myself. What is this world coming to?

At the 270-mile point, we’re sitting pretty with a predicted 8 percent of battery left by the time we get to Hawthorne. But this is also the ramp up into the Grapevine and the 4,144-foot summit of the Tejon Pass. I remember being at the introduction of the prototype of the GM EV1—a car called the Impact—and a reporter asking GM President Roger Smith if it could make it over the Grapevine on a single charge. He and the engineers were silent. Now here I am starting the grade at 30 percent of the Model S’ battery remaining. This is simply amazing.

As we pass Magic Mountain, Noah and I consider stopping for some rides but agree that Tesla wouldn’t find that funny. So we glide down into L.A. traffic and eventually grind through to reach SpaceX headquarters, on the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Jack Northrop Drive.

As we pull into the Supercharger stall, our elapsed time from the Bay Area stood at 6 hours, 11 minutes, 359 miles. With 83 kWh used, we had 11 percent of the battery remaining—which equates to 41 more miles at the rate I was going. Right at 400 miles if you add it up. Had I continued down the I-405, I could have driven on to my abode in Costa Mesa. Frankly, I’m a little embarrassed that I was being too conservative; I could have easily driven faster and still made it. But I’ll debate about testing those limits later. First things first—­ah, yeah, the bathroom is down the hall on the right.

 

 

Electric Car Distance Comparison Info

Financial services firm, Deloitte, has released its annual automotive consumer study detailing what the average South African motorists think about advanced in-vehicle technology and electric cars in the country.

The survey was sent via email to 22,078 consumers worldwide (16 years old and up), following a unique sample plan designed to be nationally representative of the overall population in each country.

While South Africans were some of the most likely to splash out on expensive technologies within their vehicles, the findings also showed that SA motorists are a long way off as to what to expect from electric vehicles currently on the market.

According to the South Africans surveyed, 55% of motorists are willing to wait a maximum of only 1 hour to fully charge an all-battery powered electric vehicle. In comparison, it currently takes 3-4 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle at super-charging stations and 6-8 hours at home.

In addition, more than half want a minimum distance of more than 400 kilometers from a fully charged electric vehicle while studies show that the majority of electric vehicles currently on the market can only handle between 120 km – 320 km on a single charge.

This data echoes concerns amongst South African motor analysts who believe that the country is not prepared for alternative-fuel cars from an infrastructure standpoint.

“We don’t see a lot of electric vehicles on the road, so that shows that somehow people do not know that these vehicles are available now on our market and honestly speaking I haven’t seen any advert for these vehicles from the vehicle dealers,”said Demand Response and Energy Efficiency Program Manager at the  (CSIR), Dr Peter Mukoma speaking to the SABC.

“The other thing is there is range anxiety, people are scared of getting stuck on the road with discharged batteries without any chance of recharging them, so South Africa is not ready from the infrastructure point of view.

There are a number of charging stations that are coming up in shopping malls and office parks, other than that we haven’t seen charging infrastructure on the high ways, this is something that obviously has to be taken care of.