Three days ago I left the U.S. for the first time. I now understand what everyone means by- you don’t appreciate diversity or have an understanding of what other parts of the world are like, until you travel. Yesterday I spent the day in South Africa, where I was able to soak up a little culture that I only wish I had more time for. I saw many similarities like the food that was similar to home. I have also noticed many differences, for instance the driving. For starters, like many countries outside the U.S., they drive on the left side of the road (which seeing for the first time is hard to comprehend). I then started looking around at the kinds of cars that were being driven. I noticed there were practically no electric vehicles on the road (that I could spot) as compared to the adequate amount at home. This is where I decided to do a little research- where is South Africa on the EV scale? Although electric vehicles have been around for decades now, they are still relatively new to the country of South Africa. Being that South Africa is the 13th largest emitter of carbon dioxide globally, and that carbon emissions account for the country’s third largest air polluter, it was announced last year by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that they will be taking action. In order to establish an electric vehicle industry in South Africa the DTI has included incentives for manufacturers as well as tax incentives for consumers- just as the U.S.. Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, spoke at the launch of the Electric Vehicle Industry Roadmap in Johannesburg last year saying that South Africa should not be “left behind” noting that the country has an overwhelming need to reduce their carbon footprint. The goal is to raise the number of electric cars sold annually in South Africa to 1.2 million b the year 2020.
Though it is a work in progress I’m proud of South Africa for taking steps to reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment.
Read more about the electric vehicle plan in South Africa here.