How to Capitilise on the Growing EV Industry

Michael Maas discusses SA's future in EVs and market opportunities.
October 30, 2023

If our look at the prospects in electric vehicles got you excited, then this week’s podcast is for you. We sat down with Michael Maas CEO of Zimi who is making big plays in this space. You know, to pick his brain and see what they’re doing, what’s working and what other opportunities there are to get in early…

A few good highlights…

1. SA’s about 5–10 years away from full-on EV

Having gained a lot of experience in both the consumer and commercial/fleet side of things, Michael explains here that compared to Europe, SA seems to be around 5–10 years away from full consumer EV adoption.

Of the 12 million cars on our roads, only 0.02% (2’500-ish) are EVs at the moment. But as we’ve seen in Europe and the US, the inevitable business incentives and regulation will push the entire industry along, so it’s one space SA’s poised for tremendous growth.

2. EVs lower transport costs by 30%–40%

The problem with low adoption is the consumer doesn’t realise the true benefits, yet. Michael points out here that, while EVs’ cost price is currently around 20% higher, electricity is 90% cheaper than fuel options.

Balance that out with maintenance, tyres, lubricants, financing and infrastructure (batteries, chargers etc.) and real-world commercial transport operators who’ve made the switch to electric see total cost of ownership savings of 30%–40% compared with fuel. And he reckons consumers will see about the same savings on their transport.

3. Big EV opportunities are in batteries and vehicle supply

Michael says there are lots of growth opportunities in SA’s EV space for founders and startups. He highlights battery swaps, manufacturing, replacement and maintenance as big-ticket opportunities. As well as helping ensure the quality of battery services across a range of suppliers and dealerships.

That said, simply getting more EVs on the ground in SA is also a hot space – whether manufacturing, importing, sales or financing – there’s a market poised for growth here.