The potential of electric vehicles to contribute to South Africa's greenhouse gas emissions targets and other developmental objectives: How appropriate is the investment in electric vehicles as a NAMA?

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University of Cape Town

"Transport consumes 28% of final energy in South Africa, 97% of which is in liquid fuels, and subsequently contributes 13.1% of South Africa’s greenhouse gas(GHG)emissions. The sector is vital for economic development. As the demand for transport services is expected to grow, the industry needs to reduce its significant environmental impact and at the same time deliver improved mobility in a way that contributes towards South Africa’s sustainable development objectives. This case study forms part of a larger project involving the application of the Action Impact Matrix (AIM) methodology for assessing relative impacts of a variety of GHG mitigation options in South Africa. It aims to understand the potential of stimulating the local market for electric vehicles (EVs) and developing the local electromobility industry to contribute towards reducing GHG emissions and contributing towards South Africa’s other developmental objectives. The focus is on private EVs (and largely passenger ones). Electric trains and other forms of public transport have not been explicitly considered. For simplicity the study has not considered hybrids, plug-in hybrids or alternative technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells. In meeting the aim, this study poses the following two key questions: What are the potential impacts (GHG emissions and other developmental impacts) associated with the increased use of EVs and with the development of an element of the e-mobility value chain in South Africa? How could the government create an enabling environment that stimulates the local EV market and allows the successful development of the local e-mobility industry?"