Best electric cars in South Africa

Sustainability and green living are at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds these days, and for good reason. We’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint, especially when it comes to typically fossil fuel-heavy activities like transport.

Luckily for us South Africans, electric cars have recently made their way to dealerships across the country and we already have a sizeable collection to take our pick from.


What electric cars are available in South Africa? 

Here is a list of some of the most popular electric cars that are currently available to South Africans who are interested in making the jump from fossil fuel-powered to electrically-charged vehicles:


Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf has been available for purchase since 2013 and it’s likely that you have already spotted a few on the road. As one of the more affordable electric models, this hatchback offers up to 3204 Nm of torque and up to 80kW of power – making it great value for money! It also boasts a 360V battery which runs up to 160km and ABS brake assist (as well as plenty other safety features that you’d expect from a modern-day car).

Average cost - R504,975


BMW i3


If you like zipping around in luxury while you feel better about reducing your carbon footprint, then you may want to look twice at BMW’s i3. This fully electric hatchback is a prime example of how dynamite can, indeed, come in small packages! With the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.9 seconds, this is a vehicle that supports punctual habits. Focusing on power, the i3 provides 135kW of power and up to 270Nm of torque.

Average cost - R658,500


Jaguar I-Pace

Slightly bigger in size than your typical electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-Pace brings sleek sophistication to the South African market. It also flaunts outstanding performance and can impressively accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds! The I-Pace driven by not one but two electric motors and generates 294kW of power and 696Nm of torque.

Average cost - R1,672,230


What is the best electric car for 2021? 

We have diligently researched up-and-coming electric cars and have studied what the experts have to say. Based on what we’ve seen, it’s our opinion that the following electric vehicle is one to keep your eye on in the new year:


The Volvo Polestar 2

The Polestar 2 stacks up well against the better-known Tesla Model 3, and hits the roads with a superiorly large 78kWh battery and dual electric motors. With 402bhp, it takes just 4.7 seconds to reach a whopping speed of 127mph!

The interior is lavishly spacious, and you’ll find ALL the bells and whistles you would expect from a high-end vehicle that comes with a reputation for being ultimately safe.

How much does it cost? Well, it’s not cheap, but some things are worth the indulgence right? Getting a second hand model will help you save a bit, and a vehicle finance plan can help you spread the cost over a longer period.


Which electric car gives the best value for money? 

If you’re shopping on a budget but are dead set on a sustainable electric car, then the good news is that you can still find yourself a model that offers excellent value for money.

Take the Nissan Leaf as an example. With a market selling price that averages R504,975, you can have a quality electric car parked in your garage without having to pay beyond the million mark. It features a luxury interior, a sleek and modern exterior, and it’s powerful enough for a pleasant driving experience. It’s also just big enough for a family of four.


How much does an electric car cost in South Africa?

High import taxes make electric cars a pipe dream for much of the South African population, with the cheapest being the Nissan Leaf (averaging R500 000). At the moment, the BMW i3 is the only other electric car in the country that sits below the million mark (it has an average price of R660,000).

Both the Jaguar I-Pace and the BMW i8 sit close to 2 million.

It’s likely that electric cars will become more affordable to South Africans as the vehicles become more popular and in demand.


Can I afford an electric car? 

Let’s be realistic, electric vehicles don’t come cheap, even if you consider the thousands of Rands you’ll be saving on fuel. However, if you’ve scrutinised your budget and can confidently say that you can commit to the monthly premiums then, with the help of an excellent vehicle finance plan, you probably can afford your own electric car.