While South African utilities struggle to keep the lights on and do so in a sustainable way, local private entities are working to join the effort against global warming. This week, Toyota South Africa announced its first locally-made hybrid-engine vehicle called the Corolla Cross.
The development of the new Corolla Cross in South Africa will allow for an investment of R2.6 billion locally. The car, destined for export to 401 countries in Africa, is manufactured at Toyota’s Prospection plant in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
We reckon there’s a reason South Africa hasn’t been a primary focus when it comes to global EV rollout plans — and that’s our struggling power utility. But more pressing is the cost of EVs at present — they’re not particularly affordable and our market wouldn’t be able to afford most of ‘em. Toyota doesn’t care.
Because the Cross is manufactured in South Africa, it’ll make electric vehicles (at least, hybrids — that’s a dual petrol-electric motor powered vehicle) more accessible to South Africans.
What the Cross is about
Along with the 53kW electric powertrain, the hybrid variation (there’s also a petrol-only option) comes with a 1.8l four-cylinder petrol engine.
The petrol powertrain delivers 72kW and 142Nm, while the electric motor adds the additional 53kW and 163Nm. Because the two run in tandem, there is some power loss thanks to continuous variable transmission (CVT), and the overall output is rated at just 90kW.
Like most EVs, the Cross features self-recharging via regenerative brake tech.
Remember when we mentioned that most electric vehicle tech is just too expensive for most brands to consider bringing ‘em to SA? Well, the hybrid Corolla Cross starts from R349,900 and will go up to R448,300 depending on the trim.