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We’re a ‘petrol head’ nation. The volumes of carbon dioxide being emitted in any given work week, in to and from work drives alone, is incalculable. Two-car-families are the norm and then some. We South Africans love our cars! What will drivers of an electric vehicle be called? An e-head?

The question is, what is or will be, the relationship between the audit industry and electric vehicles? Not much for now, but the two are more closely link than one might think …

ESG Scores – an objective measurement or evaluation of a company, fund, or security’s performance with respect to Environmental, Social, and Governance issues – is nothing new and high on all companies’ agendas. Not least of which the motor industry!

There has been a growing focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility from both government and the business world, which has extended to the audit industry as well. Auditors play a key role in ensuring its client companies comply with environmental regulations and that their operations are sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

As part of the focus on sustainability, there has been an increased interest in the environmental impact of transportation, including the transition to electric vehicles. Many companies, more so car rental companies, are planning to incorporate electric vehicles into its fleets so as to reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

The transition to electric vehicles has important implications for the audit industry. Auditors will need to have a thorough understanding of the environmental impact of electric vehicles and clients’ fleets, as well as the associated risks and opportunities. Auditors will need to familiarise themselves, and assess the reliability and sustainability of electricity supply available to charge electric vehicles, as well as the efficiency of the charging infrastructure.

They’ll need to consider the financial impact of the transition to electric vehicles. While electric vehicles may be more expensive to purchase initially, they may have lower operating costs and maintenance costs over time. Auditors will need to assess the financial implications of these factors, as well as associated tax incentives and financial incentives that may be available to electric vehicle owners.

The transition to electric vehicles is an important feature in Environmental, Social, and Governance issues and is likely to have significant implications for the South African audit industry.

EV as a subject of discussion already features on board meetings and banks’ agendas. It’s not a case of if but or maybe, the horse has bolted! Auditors will need to be prepared to navigate this new landscape, to advise clients on a multitude of insights, facts and features in adopting an all-important means of transport and doing business. From fossil fuels to electric power, all in the interest of serving and saving our planet.