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Maxus launches commercial EV dealership in Menlyn, Pretoria

A vehicle on show at Maxus' dealership in Pretoria

Maxus CEO Ndia Magadagela talks about the demand for electric vehicles the company has seen in the commercial sector (Video: Shadwyn Dickinson; Editing: Nicholas Boyd)

A vehicle on show at Maxus' dealership in Pretoria

Photo by Creamer Media's Darren Parker

19th September 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC) has appointed South African dealer and distributor Maxus to market and sell its commercial EVs.

The newly formed company is among South Africa’s first distributors to focus exclusively on the EV market, with the first Maxus EV dealership, showroom and service centre officially having opened in Menlyn, Pretoria, on September 19.  

Maxus will initially focus on the Gauteng market. However, additional launches will follow in Cape Town, Durban and other metropolitan areas.

Maxus chief marketing officer Paul Plummer told Engineering News at the launch that Maxus has only been in the business-to-business (B2B) market, although the opening of the new dealership in Menlyn means that individual consumers can now also have access to the company’s EV offering.

Maxus is initially offering three commercial EV models to the South African market.

The first is the Maxus eDeliver 3 panel van, which has a range of up to 344 km and a payload of up to 945 kg. This vehicle has been tested and validated in partnership with Everlectric for use in South African conditions over the past 24 months.

The second EV offering is the Maxus eDeliver 3 chassis cab, which is a two-seat, single chassis variant that allows the user to load a range of commercial bodies onto the long wheelbase chassis. These include drop side load bins, space saver cargo canopies, as well as refrigeration and temperature-controlled bodies. It can be ordered for delivery later this year. 

Finally, the company is offering the Maxus T90EV, which can also be ordered for delivery later this year. This model is the first electric double cab bakkie to be available in South Africa. With 354 km of range, the vehicle is an alternative to urban 4 x 2 commercial combustion double cabs in industries such as mining, private security, aviation and farming.

Plummer explained that Maxus vehicles have sufficient range for commercial operations, and most consumer use cases as well, and can be charged in under one hour or with solar panels. He explained that they can be charged on most existing direct current fast charger networks in South Africa.

In addition, the local dealership and its partners have also created a grid-tied charging infrastructure with solar microgrids to support customers.

The Maxus EVs provide an opportunity for urban logistics fleets to reduce their total cost of ownership and make progress towards their net-zero goals. Early B2B customers in South Africa, such as retailer Woolworths and shipping company DSV, working with Maxus’ leasing partner Everlectric, have already achieved more than one-million kilometres while saving more than 220 000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions.

Proof of concepts with Maxus vehicles show that each EV on the road saves more than a tonne of carbon emissions each month. Operating costs are competitive compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, at about 40 c/km to run a Maxus EV compared with about R2/km for an ICE vehicle.

Moreover, the low maintenance nature of EVs has been shown to improve asset use and improve operating efficiencies. 

“With environmental and sustainability concerns rising up the corporate agenda and the growing operational efficiencies of EVs, there is a compelling business case for decarbonising urban logistics fleets,” Maxus CEO Ndia Magadagela said at the dealership launch.

Investment research firm Morningstar has forecast that EVs will account for 40% of global automotive sales by 2030, which is more than five times the number of EVs sold in 2022. However, growth in South Africa has been somewhat slower because high upfront prices have dampened enthusiasm in the consumer market for EVs. 

“EVs outshine traditional ICE fleets in terms of operational costs – despite the ad valorem taxes added to EV imports in South Africa. Lower duties could help to encourage faster adoption of commercial EVs and shape a cleaner energy future. We urge government, commercial fleets, financing companies, and other stakeholders to join hands to accelerate adoption of EVs in South Africa. Fast-tracking the migration to EVs will . . . ensure our global competitiveness as the world decarbonises vehicle fleets,” Magadagela said.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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