Will South Africans ever be able to hop on the electric car trend?


Electric cars have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their environmental benefits and low operating costs. However, one of the main issues with electric cars in South Africa is the frequent load shedding that occurs in the country. Load shedding is the deliberate and temporary interruption of electric power supply to avoid overloading the power grid, which can lead to blackouts. In this article, we will discuss whether electric cars would be feasible in South Africa with load shedding.


Firstly, it is important to understand that electric cars rely on electricity to charge their batteries. If there is no power available during load shedding, electric car owners would not be able to charge their vehicles. This would result in inconvenience for owners who rely on their cars for daily transportation, as well as limitations on long-distance travel.


Secondly, load shedding can also have a negative impact on the electricity grid itself. When power is restored after a load shedding period, it can cause a surge in demand for electricity, which can lead to further blackouts. This can be a concern for electric car owners who rely on the availability of charging stations to charge their cars.


Despite these challenges, there are several factors to consider that suggest electric cars could still be feasible in South Africa. Firstly, load shedding typically occurs during specific time periods which are often predictable. This means that electric car owners can plan their charging schedules accordingly so that their cars are fully charged before load shedding occurs. This will require some infrastructure investment in terms of battery storage solutions for the chargers or development of the smart grid across the country.


Secondly, advancements in technology have resulted in electric cars with longer range and faster charging capabilities. For example, some electric cars can now travel up to 500km on a single charge and can be charged in as little as 30 minutes at fast charging stations. This means that even if load shedding were to occur during a long-distance journey, electric car owners would still be able to reach their destination with minimal inconvenience.


In conclusion, while load shedding can pose some challenges for electric car owners in South Africa, with proper planning and suitable infrastructure investment, electric cars can still be a feasible and practical option. However, further investment in both renewable energy and smart grid infrastructure will need to be made in order to ensure that electric cars remain a viable option for personal transportation in South Africa.