Astronomical duties hold back electric vehicle uptake

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Electric vehicles should be considered a viable option – particularly for distant deliveries and the last mile.

Ben Pullen, the co-founder and Managing Director of Generation.e, told delegates at the monthly transport forum in Cape Town, that it was essential to build a strategy to engage business and government to adopt smarter mobility solutions.

He said that one of the key issues that need to be addressed was the high import cost and luxury tax currently being levied on electric vehicles. He argues that the luxury tax is questionable, saying, “how can you call clean air a luxury?”

Pullen went on to say that Johannesburg alone is the 13th worst city for air pollution in the world, and that any initiative to address clean air and less carbon emissions should be encouraged and not taxed.

He added that solutions to bring about smarter mobility were therefore imperative if South Africa wanted to reach its targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “We are not lacking in policy, technology or solutions. The big challenge lies in bringing all the stakeholders on board”, said Pullen.

Pullen argues that electric vehicles in the South African context were not cleaner as they were being charged with electricity generated by coal-fired power stations.

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