South African electric vehicle dealer Eleksa plans to launch the cheapest electric car in the country yet — the R200,000 CityBug.
That makes it more affordable than the most popular hatchback in the country in June, the VW Polo Vivo, which starts at R222,100.
This 2-door, 4-seat compact hatch is designed for use in urban areas, boasting a top speed of 60km/h.
It has a lithium battery which can provide a starting range of 100km, upgradeable to 200km.
This performance will be dependent on driving style, use of certain features, and the weight of its cargo.
The first four CityBugs arrived in the country in July 2021 and can be seen at Eleksa’s Pretoria showroom.
With a length of 2,960mm, a width of 1,480mm wide, and a height of 1,520mm, it is a bit bigger than South Africa’s cheapest fuel-powered car — the Bajaj Qute.
Eleksa says the CityBug has an extremely low running cost, with a charging cost of 15c per kilometre, which works out to R15.00 for a full charge on the 100km model.
For reference, the Bajaj Qute has a claimed fuel consumption of 2.86 litres per 100km.
With the inland unleaded 93 petrol price of R17.20, that means it will cost about R49 over 100km, more than three times the price of recharging the CityBug.
The CityBug boasts several features as standard, which are typically only seen in higher-end trims of popular hatchbacks.
This includes an aircon, built-in GPS navigation, reverse camera, electric windows, a sound system, and an Android touch infotainment system with USB ports.
Eleksa did not provide details on the powertrain or engine power of the CityBug, although it told TopAuto it can handle inclines of up to 11.31 degrees.
A reverse image web search using pictures from Eleksa’s site appeared to show that there is a Chinese model called the Shandong Gaia G-EEC.
According to the specifications on its product page, that model’s AC motor has a rated power of 4kW.
Eleksa stated that the CityBug is also available in the UK, Germany, Spain, and Uruguay.
In the UK, it is sold under the Saturn badge and is called the City Bug A5.
Saturn also says solar panels can be added to the car to extend battery life and provide a greater range between charges.
According to Saturn’s information, a full charge will take around 6 to 8 hours.
Unlike the South African model, however, air conditioning is only offered as an optional upgrade.
Eleksa told TopAuto that the CityBug is currently getting approval, and it expects roadworthy certification to be completed and sales to begin in September.
The company plans to use its current and future dealerships to distribute the vehicle throughout South Africa.
Aside from Pretoria, it also boasts branches in Randburg, Cape Town, Durban, Potchefstroom, Reitz, and Modimolle.
The company has been importing and distributing electric vehicles in South Africa for 6 years.
It currently offers a range of electric scooters, quad bikes, utility bikes, bicycles, and tricycles.
Below are more images of the Eleksa CityBug, including images taken by TopAuto during a visit to Eleksa’s showroom.