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SA's cheapest electric vehicle now available

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The Eleksa CityBug costs R230 000.
The Eleksa CityBug costs R230 000.

The Eleksa CityBug, SA’s most affordable electric vehicle (EV), is now available in the local market, setting the buyer back R230 000.

The two-door four-seater CityBug EV arrived in SA in October and has recently been made available after undergoing a homologation process.

Pretoria-headquartered dealership Eleksa has been importing and distributing EVs in SA for the past six years. The company says it is looking to partner with companies considering EVs in their business fleet or as their core business.

Although there is demand for EVs from South African customers, exorbitant prices have posed a serious threat to the local motor industry, according to a survey conducted by AutoTrader.

Until now, SA’s cheapest EV was the Mini Cooper SE at R686 400, while the second cheapest was the BMW i3, which has a starting price of R754 200.

“The Eleksa CityBug has a range of 100km (upgrade-able to 200km), powered by a 9kWh battery and a 4kW electric motor. It is an ideal city or town run-about. Companies can experience good interest when using it as a delivery vehicle for short-range deliveries due to the extremely low running cost. It supports a load-carrying capacity of roughly 300kg,” according to Eleksa.

In terms of running costs, the company notes that charging the vehicle will set the owner back 15c per kilometre, while a full charge costs around R15. It has a speed of 60km/h, with a maximum incline scalability rate of 11.31 degrees.

The CityBug interior comes with standard features.
The CityBug interior comes with standard features.

Standard features include: Aircon, sound system, USB ports, central locking, reverse camera, electric windows, digital instrument cluster, Bluetooth connectivity, Google maps navigation, Android tablet infotainment system and an emergency cut-off switch.

The vehicle is available in four exterior colours – blue, red, white and yellow. It sports 12-inch alloy wheels.

According to the AutoTrader, EVs are more expensive in SA for a variety of reasons, including punitive import duties – levies cost as much as 25% in SA compared to 18% for internal combustion engine vehicles.

Other reasons include batteries being expensive to produce and a lack of consumer demand.

However, government incentives and advances in EV technology are some of the factors expected to contribute to reduced prices in future.

A side view of the Eleksa CityBug.
A side view of the Eleksa CityBug.
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