Eskom says even massive growth in sales of electric vehicles in South Africa won’t have a “major impact” on the overall demand experienced during any “normal day”.

The public utility – again at the centre of a national load-shedding crisis – made the comments in a media statement confirming it and “the major players in the electric vehicle market in South Africa” had met in the past few weeks.

“Eskom is actively involved in the EV sector as the primary electricity supplier for vehicle charging. Eskom’s main objective is to craft special tariffs for EV owners to charge their vehicles at off-peak times, thereby helping to flatten the demand patterns outside peak periods and ensure affordable power for EV owners,” the statement said.

“Those concerned about Eskom’s ability to supply the necessary electricity need not worry – even a massive growth in EVs will not have a major impact on the overall demand during any normal day,” the power utility said, adding it was “also well advanced” in its research on solar and battery storage options.

The state-owned enterprise admitted South Africa had major investments and income streams related to conventionally powered vehicles, but said international experience was showing EV manufacturing, charging stations and battery manufacturing were creating “new job opportunities and new markets”.

“Electric vehicles will be the transport medium of the future and we as South Africa need to be part of the movement, or risk massive losses if we are not geared for this new wave of technology,” Eskom concluded.

The all-electric Jaguar I-Pace launched in South Africa in February 2019 (joining the BMW i3 and outgoing Nissan Leaf on the market), with the Audi E-tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC set to follow.