Small island states that are net importers of fossil fuels for the transportation sector are prime candidates for a rapid transition to electric mobility. Indeed, everything is so close that range anxiety won’t be a major concern given the good range you get these days with modern electric vehicles. Unlike early first-generation Nissan Leafs, most modern EVs have a range of well over 200 km per charge.
Mauritius, the island nation that is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), is a good example. The country is about 60 km long and 45 km wide and has an area of about 2000 km2. Mauritius has a population of approximately 1.37 million. Modern electric vehicles will be perfect for most if not all of people’s daily commutes on the island.
The 10-year roadmap for the integration of electric vehicles in Mauritius commissioned by the Ministry of Energy and Utilities in 2020, indicates that there were 562,202 vehicles in Mauritius at the time. 312,000 of them were cars (registered cars, double cab pickups and vans). The report also states that annual new car sales in the country average about 11,000 with 9,000 used car imports. So we can say that there are probably around 600,000 vehicles currently in the country. A budget summary report (2022-2023) from KPMG indicates that 0.11% of the country’s fleet is electric. Mauritius must increase the penetration of electric vehicles as soon as possible!
To catalyze the adoption of electric vehicles, the Mauritian government has made electric vehicles duty free! Since July 1, 2022, all hybrid and electric vehicles are now tax-free in Mauritius. This was announced earlier this year by Finance Minister Renganaden Padayachy in his 2022-23 budget speech. These incentives were introduced as part of the “Accelerating the Transition from Electric Vehicles to Land Transport” program in which the government wants to further reduce our dependence on the import of petroleum products, decarbonize the land transport system and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.
New and used electric vehicles have been on sale for some time now in Mauritius. So, what cars can you have in Mauritius? The LEAL group is a major car dealership in Mauritius and is the supplier and importer of BMW, MINI, Rolls Royce, Renault, KIA, Mitsubishi, GWM and Haval in Mauritius. The LEAL Group offers the BMW i range, including the iX, iX3 and i4. They will also offer the new i7 and iX1. The Kia range includes the eNiro and the EV6. The LEAL Group also offers the electric Mini Cooper SE. The Renault Zoe is another electric vehicle available on the Mauritian market. LEAL Group also has a partnership with BYD and the critically acclaimed Atto 3 is expected to arrive in Mauritius soon. Other dealers also offer the MG ZS EV. The Hyundai Kona EV is also available in Mauritius. Dealerships such as EV-Cars have been selling used Teslas in Mauritius for some time now.
In an excellent article on LinkedIn in 2020, before the duty-free policy, Olaf Boulle said that “the lower differential between ICE and EV duty rates on cars destined for the wider market does not allow EV prices to be sufficiently competitive. A Zoë at Rs 1.37M will never compete with a Clio at Rs 900k (50% more expensive), nor will an i3 at a price higher than Rs 2M. Ditto for the Ioniq (Rs 1.56M) against a Hyundai Accent Rs 1M and for the Kona and eNiro (between Rs 1.7M and 2M) against a Kia Sportage (Rs 1.2M).
The price difference between premium/luxury EVs and their equivalent ICE vehicles wasn’t that big and therefore wealthier customers looking for a Jaguar I Pace, for example, wouldn’t really put off by the price compared to an F Pace in terms of initial purchase. the price. We know that to truly make a difference in the electric vehicle market, closing the price gap in the more mainstream vehicle segments is essential. The new duty-free policy for electric vehicles in Mauritius should go a long way to solving this problem.
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