Tesla Motors said to set up SA office - TechCentral

Tesla Motors said to set up SA office

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors looks set to establish its first presence in South Africa, it was reported on Friday.

Htxt.africa reported that Tesla is planning to set up a local office early in the new year. The plan is not to sell Tesla’s high-end electric cars in South Africa — not yet, at least — but rather the company’s energy storage solutions.

According to Htxt, the office will be run by Evan Rice, who has been CEO of renewable Western Cape-based energy specialist GreenCape for the past three years. He will be Tesla’s sole employee in South Africa, at least for now.

The local office will reportedly sell Tesla’s Powerpack battery systems, which are aimed at industrial applications.

Tesla Powerpack is described as a utility-scale rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is designed to store energy off the grid. Designed in a modular way, multiple units can be connected, creating capacities that in theory could power entire cities.

The Powerpack is effectively an industrial version of Tesla’s Powerwall, a battery solution for use in the home and in small businesses announced by Musk in April 2015. A number of local distributors already offer the Powerwall to South African consumers.  — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media


  1. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Meh. Want the cars 🙂

    Any news on Mercedes’ competing battery? It’s pretty much the same as Tesla’s solution spec for spec, and Merc already have an extensive countrywide distribution and maintenance network in place.

  2. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Meh. Want the cars 🙂

    And you would recharge your Tesla Roadster using a Mercedes’ competing solution rather than buying a Mercedes EV because the Merc solution is;

    >>pretty much the same as Tesla’s solution spec for spec


  3. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    You’re referring to the;

    >>boring people

    …who have been around long enough to know that when it comes to vehicles;

    There is ONLY Mercedes…

    And then there’s the rest 🙂

  4. Greg Mahlknecht on

    I think you’re missing the point. The car specifications do not fit what I want. Absolutely nothing to do with the make of the car.

    And I won’t be sucked in to the silly “brand a is better than brand b” fanboy fight.

  5. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Which Tesla Roadster matches the “boring people carrier” SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive…???

  6. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Errr… I need 4 seats. That’s a hard spec to make up for in a 2-seater car… is the boot big enough for 2 kids? 🙂

  7. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    A – is for AMG;

    b – is for boring;

    >>I need 4 seats.

    …now I get the point 🙂

  8. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Apparently not. That’s the great thing about cars, there’s such a diverse range out there you can pretty much get exactly what you want. Sporty, great quality, 4 seats? Check. It’s not a merc, but who cares – My father had mercs most his life, they’re not the be all and end all. Fanboys who buy stuff they don’t need because of brand (like my father!) just punish themselves.

  9. lol k.. ex south african , wants to come to south africa…GOOD..make SpaceX division rather

  10. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    My thoughts are that there would be a market for Tesla EVs in SA; but it would require and approach with a mindset to solve a South African problem.

    Yes, EVs are currently more popular amongst those fortunate enough to have enough cash for a sporty roadster; but in SA there’s the taxi industry which would benefit immensely and it would be feasible to put together a business model that can work to cover the costs and end up being profitable.

    Recharge stations being at taxi ranks and the elimination of fuel in safer reliable roadworthy mini-bus EVs is something that I would even encourage the transport ministry to look into… but if its going to be the same roadster approach as in the US then, its going to be a tough ask to get South Africans away from their German brands.

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