Hey South Africa! Where are all the Hybrid Cars?

Hybrid cars are almost reaching a point of being “cool” in countries like the States and the UK, but in South Africa for some reason we’re still way behind the rest of the pack. But who’s to blame? Is it the public? Or is it purely due to the complete lack of awareness and availability as far as hybrid cars are concerned? Personally, I don’t think we can start blaming the public. I mean, if we don’t have access to hybrid cars or get constantly reminded that there are even hybrid cars available, then why would we decide to buy one? The only hybrid car that is readily available in South Africa at the moment is the Toyota Prius Hybrid car (I could be wrong on this point). Imagine an entire country driving around in the same car, I think not. In The States, Audi last year used their prime advertising slot, halftime of the Super bowl, to advertise their latest high performance hybrid car. I don’t remember seeing a single eco-friendly themed advert during the final of the Super 14 or Currie Cup earlier this year. Okay so I’m having a bit of a rant, but basically what I’m alluding to is the complete lack of choice and availability of electric hybrid cars in South Africa, and this is something that needs to be addressed at the very highest level. We can’t be blaming car dealers in Johannesburg, car dealers Pretoria or car dealers in Cape Town, it’s not their fault. There are tons of hybrid cars currently available on the market around the world and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have some of these cars become available in South Africa, for those of us that actually want to do what we can for our environment. Just to give a quick example of how ridiculously eco-friendly the Toyota Prius, here are a few stats a found on the Toyota website:
The Toyota Prius Hybrid: Surprising emission facts! Driving the following distances in a Toyota Prius Hybrid vehicle produces fewer harmful emissions than:
  • Emptying a 240ml can of cooking spray – when driving 5 850km between New York and Paris.
  • Painting a 46m wall – after driving 240 000km.
  • Spilling 1 cup of unleaded petrol – after driving 38 500km.
  • Using 118ml of nail polish remover – when driving 13 500km between Durban and Tokyo.
  • Using an entire can of air freshener – when travelling by hybrid car from Cape Town to Rome.
  • Emptying a can of insect repellent – when travelling between Johannesburg and Cape Town eight times in your Toyota Prius Hybrid car.
As you can see, Hybrid cars are effective and they definitely do play their part in saving our environment. Let’s hope that more electric hybrid cars become available in South Africa, sooner rather than later.