In a recent blog post by Hanno Labuschagne from MyBroadband, it was reported that driving an electric vehicle (EV) like a Tesla from Cape Town to Johannesburg is indeed possible, even amidst continuous load-shedding in South Africa. Two engineers, Hilton Musk and Nick Bailey, both working at Rubicon E-mobility, took on this challenge and successfully completed the journey in about two days.
The duo shared their experience with Labuschagne, revealing that they had to deal with a few challenges during their 1,400km trip. One of these challenges was the fact that they had recently replaced the Tesla’s tires, causing some alignment issues that limited their driving speeds for the first two days. However, this issue was fixed in Bloemfontein, allowing them to drive at the N1’s 120km/h speed limit.
According to Labuschagne’s article, Musk and Bailey encountered load-shedding only once at a charging station in Colesberg. They had to add many towns’ load-shedding schedules to the EskomSePush app to plan their trip accordingly. Despite the power challenges, the engineers managed to charge the Tesla Model X and complete the journey, proving that EVs can work in South Africa even with the country’s current power situation.
Hilton Musk shared that their experience with the charging infrastructure was “mixed.” Although they faced some difficulties, it was beneficial for them to understand the challenges faced by their customers, so they can continue to improve the EV charging experience in South Africa.
As Hanno Labuschagne highlights in his MyBroadband article, a Tesla Supercharger network in South Africa, similar to those in the US, Canada, and Europe, would have made the journey much more efficient. The fastest available charger on Tesla’s network in those regions can add roughly 175 miles (282km) of range to a Tesla Model X in just 15 minutes.
Musk acknowledged the need for more charging infrastructure across South Africa, especially at popular stops and overnight destinations. Despite the challenges, Labuschagne’s article points out that EVs have proven to be a viable option for South African drivers, even with the current power challenges the country faces.