Will VW Follow a South Africa-like ‘No EV Policy’ for India?

  • Electrification is the name of the game, at least in the developed economies of the world.
  • However, emerging countries are not ready for the EV transition just yet.
  • South Africa is one such country where the EV trend hasn’t really caught up yet, due to various reasons.

VW is concerned about the lack of EV policy in South Africa. The SA government has not announced any concrete plans for the transition of mobility from fossil-fuel-powered to electrified. That is a cause for concern for the big global carmakers that operate in the continent including VW and Ford. The top officials at both these firms have voiced their concerns about the government not coming up with a dedicated plan to achieve the goal of decarbonization in the automobile domain. Could these be the signs of things to come in India too?

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VW ID.4 First Edition Front Three Quarters
VW ID.4 First Edition Front Three Quarters

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VW Concerned About EV Policy of South Africa

Martina Biene, VW South Africa’s Managing Director told Reuters that introducing EVs onto the domestic market makes little sense, however, while South Africa remains dependent upon fossil fuels to power generation. “The fundamental thing is that finally, the source of power can’t be coal in the long-term for us to make EVs a thing which is not only an emission-free vehicle but also helps save the climate,” she added.

In addition to that, Biene also told Reuters that the German automaker’s South African facility would likely not produce EVs before 2035 and in the meantime would develop new markets for its petrol and diesel vehicles in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Hence, VW is evidently concerned about the lack of enthusiasm of the government toward the electrification of mobility. Moreover, this could cripple the domestic market when the jobs will have to be exported to Europe. This includes over 100,000 jobs that come from SA’s auto industry producing three-quarters of cars for exports.

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VW ID.4 First Edition Rear Three Quarters
VW ID.4 First Edition Rear Three Quarters

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Is it a Worrying Sign for India?

Well, the situation with EVs in complex markets like South Africa and India can be a bit complicated. However, we clearly see the support of the Indian government in the form of incentives and promoting the development of the charging infrastructure. Additionally, carmakers like Tata Motors and Mahindra are already amidst installing wide-scale charging infrastructure day after day. Also, foreign auto giants like Hyundai Motor Group and MG are expanding their infrastructure. Hence, it could safely be assumed that in the coming years, India will be much more compatible with the electrification trend of the automobile industry. We would love to hear your thoughts as well.

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