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Mercedes-Benz is set to launch five new battery electric vehicles in South Africa this year, with strong upward growth expected in the luxury domestic EV market in the next 12 to 24 months.

Under its Mercedes-EQ range, the German car manufacturer will launch its EQA sports-utility vehicle (SUV); the EQB family-sized SUV; the mid-sized EQC; the EQE business sedan; and the EQS luxury sedan.

EV sales have been slow to take off in South Africa when compared to EV sales globally. This is due, in part, to outdated legislation that heavily taxes EVs, intermittent power supply and rolling blackouts faced by state-owned power utility Eskom, and consumer concerns centering on practicality and affordability.

“South Africa is not without its challenges in terms of the EV landscape, however, with our customer-centric growth strategy curated towards the local market, a significant interest has already been shown by potential customers for our EQ range,” states Mark Raine, President of Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa (MBSA).

To mitigate concerns over battery life and charging availability, MBSA is providing an eight-year warranty on batteries, as well as a complimentary Mercedes-EQ wall charger. The company is also partnering with electric vehicle manufacturer GridCars to expand public charging infrastructure in South Africa.