The local battery market will grow by 5% to 6% a year as the second- hand car-part market grows, says battery and automotive electrical components importer and distributor Probe CEO Frank Rovelli.
He says the market is still based on traditional batteries and that it will take some time for electric vehicles (EVs) to be introduced into the country. “EVs have not had a major impact on the South African battery market and will not have a significant impact for a long time.” He predicts that EVs will only be made available in South Africa in 15 to 20 years’ time.
The expected inherent battery market growth will enable Probe to grow its market share and increase its capacity to provide premium batteries at cost-effective prices on a national basis.
Probe’s imported batteries are maintenance free and, according to Rovelli, “new vehicles require batteries that have new technology and Probe’s technology is on an international standard”.
A challenge facing the South African automotive battery market is that manufacturers have not been able to keep abreast of technology changes in terms of equipment upgrades that result in improved efficiencies and quality, he says.
International manufacturing standards have improved significantly as a result of increasing warranty periods demanded by the market.
“With the ageing car parc in Southern Africa, the potential for growth in the automotive aftermarket battery market lies in being able to service the older cars,” Rovelli concludes.