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HomeFeaturesDiesel bakkies competing with South Africa’s first electric double cab

Diesel bakkies competing with South Africa’s first electric double cab

South Africa has officially welcomed its first all-electric double cab in the form of the Maxus T90, the first model from the country’s newest auto brand.

Maxus Electric Vehicles is the local distributor of the Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC), one of China’s largest state-owned carmakers.

The company recently opened the doors of its first dealership in Pretoria and is planning to expand with additional storefronts in major cities like Cape Town and Durban.

While it has other electric vehicles (EVs) under its belt aimed at the commercial sector, the R1.1-million T90 is its headline unit, with respectable performance and features for any double cab.

For that price, you get a 150kW/310Nm electric motor mounted over the rear axle, which connects to an 88kWh battery, giving it a driving range of 354km. It also means the high-rider is capable of both carrying and towing up to 1,000kg.

Charging the battery takes about 45 minutes for an 80% top-up at an 80kW DC plug, or about 9 hours for a 100% charge on a more conventional 11kW AC cable.

What’s more, Maxus claims the T90 has an operating cost of as little as R0.55 per km. This is at a time when diesel users are now paying over R25 per litre, which at an average consumption rate of 8.5l/100km, works out to 11.76km per litre, or R2.12 per km.

As for its equipment, buyers of the T90 can expect trimmings like automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, a multifunction steering wheel, artificial leather upholstery, electric and heated front seats, aircon, a reverse camera, rear parking sensors, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay.

Where it stands in the market

The Maxus is intended to function as a cost-efficient workhorse for companies, but the high upfront cost of the still relatively-new battery technology means you will need to spend a total of R1.1 million.

While EVs will no doubt become more affordable as the technology is refined and economies of scale reduces the production cost per unit, it does mean that anyone looking to grab an electric bakkie in South Africa will currently have to pay a substantial premium for it compared to its direct competitors, as the Maxus T90 is comparable to some of the country’s most sought-after double cabs, as shown below.

Click on the underlined prices for more information.

The competitors

GWM P-Series 2.0TD double cab SX

  • Starting price – R444,650
  • Power – 120kW/400Nm
  • Fuel consumption – 9.4l/100km
  • Towing capacity – 1,375kg
  • Load capacity – 1,000kg

Mahindra Pik Up 2.2CRDe double cab S10 Karoo

  • Starting price – R446,999
  • Power – 103kW/320Nm
  • Fuel consumption – 7.9l/100km
  • Towing capacity – 2,500kg
  • Load capacity – 1,095kg

JAC T8 2.0CTi double cab Super Lux

  • Starting price – R449,900
  • Power – 104kW/320Nm
  • Fuel consumption – 7.8l/100km
  • Towing capacity – 2,000kg
  • Load capacity – 900kg

Mitsubishi Triton 2.4DI-D double cab GL

  • Starting price – R519,990
  • Power – 100kW/324Nm
  • Fuel consumption – 8.0l/100km
  • Towing capacity – 3,500kg
  • Load capacity – 942kg

What’s available for a similar price

VW Amarok 3.0TDI V6 double cab Aventura 4Motion

  • Starting price – R1,161,000
  • Power – 184kW/600Nm
  • Fuel consumption – 8.4l/100km
  • Towing capacity – 3,500kg
  • Load capacity – 942kg

Isuzu D-Max 3.0TD double cab AT35 4×4

  • Starting price – R1,120,620
  • Power – 140kW/450Nm
  • Fuel consumption – 8.5l/100km
  • Towing capacity – 3,500kg
  • Load capacity – 970kg

Ford Ranger 3.0 V6 double cab Wildtrak 4WD

  • Starting price – R1,026,400
  • Power – 188kW/600Nm
  • Fuel consumption – 8.4l/100km
  • Towing capacity – 3,500kg
  • Load capacity – 942kg

Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 double cab 4×4 Legend RS auto

  • Starting price – R1,005,000
  • Power – 150kW/500Nm
  • Fuel consumption – 8.0l/100km
  • Towing capacity – 3,500kg
  • Load capacity – 775kg

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