It’s time to scrap duties on electric vehicles and implement the Auto Green Paper

Please find attached a soundbite by Dean Macpherson MP.

The DA believes it is time to scrap import duties on electric vehicles (EVs) which currently stand at 25% and implement the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s Auto Green Paper.

The cost of fuel is becoming an unbearable burden for many families and government must allow consumers the option to buy reasonably priced EVs as an alternative.

It makes no sense whatsoever that import duty exists on electric vehicles, except to protect big manufactures in South Africa who refuse to transition to EVs and hybrids, and keep South Africans on petrol and diesel to keep raking in fuel taxes.

Just last week, Mercedes-Benz South Africa, bizarrely said that there should rather be duty parity between EVs and traditional combustion-based engines, rather than scrapping duties on imported EVs. This in itself makes no sense considering the European Union will ban combustion engine vehicle sales in 2030.

While many countries offer cash incentives against the purchase of EVs, the least we could do in South Africa is reduce the cost of EVs to consumers by a massive 25%. This would be a non-cash incentive which would be managble by government.

Coupled to this, it is vital that the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition comes clean on its failed Auto Green Paper which was released on 21 May 2021.

This important policy paper which seems mostly reasonable and focused (except for local content and race based requirements) has been pushed around for the last 18 months when it was supposed to be finalised from August 2021 and then presented to Cabinet for adoption.

The clock is ticking for our auto-manufacturing sector which must be able to transition to EVs before 2030 or else we will lose most of our production market access into the EU.

Minister Patel must stop dithering on these two important policy matters and act with speed if he is to relieve consumers of continued reliance on petrol and diesel, as well as protect the 1 million jobs in the auto-manufacturing sector.