Gentlemen, plug in your engines…?

Cape Town’s abuzz (excuse the pun) in anticipation of February next year, when the city hosts the first open-wheel motor racing in SA for over 30 years. And even though it’s Formula E rather than screaming combustion engines, the 21% of all middle-class-and-up adults in the province who claim to be motorsport fans will be packing into Green Point and the Waterfront for a sniff of the action.

And while some moan about how the event is going to bring the city to a gridlocked standstill and others ask how the city justifies spending R44 million on necessary upgrades to host the event, don’t let that dilute the extraordinary power of this global event to spread the word about a more sustainable future. And boy do we need it.

In BrandMapp we asked respondents how they feel about electric and hybrid vehicles and a remarkable 37% ticked a box to say they simply ‘do not know’. Only 44% of respondents were positive in saying they’d consider buying one when the price comes down, or recharging stations are more easily accessible. Maybe real-life Scalextric is just what’s needed to shift the needle?

Gentlemen…. Turn off your engines!

In these turbulent times, it appears the only thing more dangerous than rolling crystal balls around is scheduling a news post. Between writing and posting our Cape Town Formula E story, two interesting things happened. 1. The race was postponed to 2023 due to Covid concerns (cue lots of petrol-heads shaking) and 2. The richest man in the world, Elon Musk, sealed a deal that will give electric vehicles the biggest boost in their hybrid history. In an unprecedented move, news broke 48 hours ago about Hertz rental ordering 100 000 Model 3 Teslas, worth an astonishing $4 billion and pushing Tesla over the $1 trillion mark in market valuation.

What’s really fascinating about this is that it was literally a week ago that investment specialists at Morgan Stanley in the USA predicted that Musk is on track to become the world’s first trillionaire in his personal capacity as his SpaceX venture takes him into an entirely new financial orbit and makes the $250 billion he’s made so far out of electric vehicles look like pocket change. Not bad for an introverted brainiac from Pretoria Boys High! 

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