Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | STOCK TAKE | Why SA's petrolheads shouldn't fear zero carbon | STOCK TAKE | Why SA's petrolheads shouldn't fear zero carbon





There’s a future in toy motors

South African sports car aficionados may wonder what will happen to their petrol guzzlers in the carbon-neutral future we are racing towards.

Will they be forced to scrap them or park them permanently in the garage as they run out of fuel options for these cars, many of them classics?

Well, maybe if you are stuck in Norway, or other parts of Europe where there is a massive push to punt only battery electric vehicles, you may run into some problems for your sports car – classic or otherwise – as you search for carbon-neutral fuel options in the coming years.

But in SA and other parts of Africa and the developing world, where electricity supply can be intermittent at the best of times, it seems likely that a multi-path approach to new energy vehicles will become entrenched. 

This means we will probably see a host of options available to car owners, from pure battery electric vehicles to hybrid ones, as well as internal combustion engine (ICE) cars that use petrol, hydrogen and other carbon-neutral or e-fuels. 

And with Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) and its global parent, Toyota Motor Corporation, both following widely publicised multi-path approaches to new energy vehicle production themselves, lovers of Japanese sports cars like the Subaru BRZ (Toyota 86) or Toyota GR Supra, will probably sleep easier than most.

If Toyota, as SA’s largest vehicle manufacturer, is following this route, there are going to be many options available for Japanese sports car owners – including even converting cars that currently run on petrol to carbon-neutral fuel formats.

Recently, TSAM said that it will not only be producing hydrogen ICE and carbon-neutral ICE vehicles, as well as other hybrids and battery electric cars, but that it will be able to convert petrol cars as well.

It was also pointed out that the converted car should enjoy the same performance it enjoyed in its previous incarnation as a petrol user.

Of course, this conversion will not come cheap, but this is, after all, the high-end sports car market we are talking about. A conversion would be a small price to pay to keep your car on the road, as well as its value.

Thought for the day

The currencies that kept us going, hope and trust, is no longer there. It’s no longer there.

Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa, at the News24 On the Record event in Cape Town.

Chart of the day

Source: International Energy Agency

Number of the day


Increase in maize meal prices in SA in the year to April. Source: Statistics SA


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News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily represent the views of News24. 

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