TechInAfrica – If you’re a tech-savvy or an automobile enthusiast, chances are you’ve heard of Elon Musk’s Tesla. The company, an American automotive and energy company based in Palo Alto, California, specializes in electric car manufacturing—and through its SolarCity subsidiary, solar panel manufacturing. But why isn’t this magnificent implementation of renewable energy available in South Africa?
In a response to a tweet on August 29th, 2019, Elon Musk said that the company would love to bring Tesla to South Africa—yet it seemed that import duties are deemed extremely high despite the subject being electric vehicles. South African motorists and fans of Tesla would have to wait for the official launch of Tesla vehicles in the country.
You can read the full tweet below:
Would love to, but import duties are extremely high, even for electric vehicles
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2019
Despite this, Ebrahim Patel—minister of Trade and Industry—spoke that while the country does not support nor subsidize the availability to manifest these electric vehicles, the government is still working to arrange and make things possible for the notion. Additionally, the program responsible for the imports and production of motor vehicles is the Automotive Production and Development Program (APDP).
Furthermore, Patel professed:
Under the APDP, light motor vehicles including electric vehicles can be imported into the country with the use of rebate credit certificates earned.
With no manufacturer officially assembling electric vehicles in South Africa, imports regarding this matter have also been in a staggering state—fewer than 1,000 units imported to date. It’s only logical for the country to limit the imports of electric vehicles due to lack of available service and spare part providers. However, this doesn’t mean South Africa isn’t open to the impending change in the automotive industry; development of production capacity must meet the growing anticipation and demands.
When an open mindset is applied to the contributing elements, Tesla will be available in no time for South African citizens.