There is no better way to celebrate World EV Day on 9th September than with South Africa’s accelerating sales of new and used electric vehicles (EVs). It’s quite the about-turn from the somewhat lacklustre adoption of EVs in past years.

In the first half of 2023 new EV sales amounted to 501 matching total sales for 2022¹. An expanding range of EVs on the used car platform has also brought brisker trading. In the half-year of 2023, 131 used EVs made their way to environmentally-conscious buyers, according to AutoTrader.

“Affordability, limited choice and education have been major factors stalling the sales of pure electric vehicles in South Africa. Now however, around 20 EVs retail on the new car market. That feeds down to the used car market providing those buyers with a wider selection as well. AutoTrader has also been at the forefront of the transition, with the EV buyer survey and education,” says AutoTrader CEO George Mienie. 

Premium brands BMW, Volvo, MINI, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Jaguar and Porsche dominate both new and used sales.

Notably, half of all new and used EVs were sold by German brand BMW in the half-year, according to new car sales data¹, as well as AutoTrader used car sales data². BMW posted a 51% share of new sales and a 50% share of used sales. This commanding success is perhaps unsurprising given that BMW offers the widest range of EV models and was one of the first brands to introduce EVs locally, launching its quirky BMW i3 in 2015. This used model sells for an average price of R600 950 and still tops the list of the most sold used EV models outpacing newer siblings iX3 and iX in fourth and fifth.

Sales of new EVs saw Swedish brand Volvo ranked second with a 20% share while British marque MINI (part of the BMW stable) with 12% completed the top three brand sales line-up. German brands Mercedes-Benz and Audi secured 8% and 3% respectively, British brand Jaguar posted 1.8%, while German marque Porsche garnered 1.4%.

In the used EV market the MINI and Volvo brands swapped places. According to AutoTrader Used Car Sales data, MINI bagged 14.5% of sales with Volvo in the slipstream at 14% courtesy of its compact SUV the XC40, the third most sold EV model behind the MINI Cooper SE. Audi garnered 10%, Jaguar 6% while Porsche and Mercedes-Benz each captured 1.5% of used EV sales.

Premium brands might be the current front-runners in EV sales, but that’s likely to change in the not-too-distant future as more affordable EVs from Chinese brands GWM and JAC, and Korean brand Kia make their way to the local market. Currently, premium hatch MINI Cooper SE holds the title as the most affordable new EV in SA, but GWM’s Ora hatchback will shortly be introduced and is likely to snatch that trophy.

To celebrate World EV Day, AutoTrader and GridCars have partnered up and are giving back a 20% return in charging tokens at any GridCars station for anybody that recharges on Saturday, 9th September. For more information on this, visit the AutoTrader website. – TechFinancials

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