A Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study found that 54 percent of consumers wanted a minimum distance of 400km from a fully charged vehicle, 24 percent chose 240km to 320km, and 22 percent 80km to 160km.
The study also revealed that conventional engines remained the preferred choice for the majority of consumers now and in the future, despite the increasing acceptance of alternative engines among all generations.
It said almost seven in 10 consumers considered travelling in self-driving cars to be a positive experience and were willing to try them if they have an established safety record.
When asked about connected cars, 83 percent of consumers fear data hacking, which could compromise their personal safety.
However, 79 percent were willing to share their personal information with car-makers in return for significant benefits.
Karthi Pillay, the Africa Automotive Leader at Deloitte, said the younger generation was far more likely to show an interest in fully self-driving vehicles, because it was willing to pay for in-vehicle technologies.
“When compared to the UK and Germany, we’re also seeing a higher proportion of consumers in South Africa who are willing to pay for advanced vehicle technologies, with safety remaining their biggest concern,” he said.
Adheesh Ori, chief of staff for Deloitte Africa Automotive, said South Africans were divided on whom they trusted most to bring self-driving technology to market.
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Ori said half of consumers preferred technology companies, while half chose traditional car manufacturers.
The study found that 47 percent of South African consumers wanted limited self-driving technology, while only 39 percent were interested in full self-driving vehicles.
Over the past two years, the desirability of advanced automation had increased from 67 percent to 74 percent, but the desirability of other automation levels had remained stagnant.
The study revealed the desire for advanced vehicle technologies had increased, but fewer people were willing to pay for them.
In 2014, local consumers were willing to pay, on average, an additional R19149 for these features, but this decreased to R18370 last year.
Ride sharing did not yet threaten South Africa’s culture of car ownership, with only 21 percent of consumers using ride-sharing services at least once a week and 42percent indicating they never used such services.