Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was born in South Africa, loves to troll online. As far back 2016, he has teased, via twitter, that his electric car company is making its way to SA. Now, he has finally admitted that Tesla models won’t arrive locally due to the country’s import duties.

In December 2018, Musk posted a tweet about 11 new Tesla dealerships opening in the United States. One of his Twitter followers asked when the Tesla CEO would open a branch in South Africa. Musk replied “probably end of next year”. 

In March 2016, the billionaire tweeted that Tesla’s smallest and cheapest car, the Model 3, would make its way to SA. Almost three years later we are yet to see a Model 3 on SA roads. 

Now, Musk has finally been open about Tesla ever reaching South Africa when a Twitter user posed the question.

Musk replied: “Would love to, but import duties are extremely high, even for electric vehicles.”

South Africa’s electric-vehicle charging infrastructure is not as widely available in comparison to other countries and another stumbling block is the high cost of electric vehicles. 

Electric vehicles are subject to a 45% import duty compared to the 36% on petroleum diesel vehicles.


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