‘No longer a novelty’: Massive increase in electric car sales in Australia, industry report shows | Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are “no longer a novelty” and their adoption in Australia is booming, with the industry recording a 120% increase in sales in the past year, according to a new industry report.

There are now more than 180,000 electric vehicles on Australian roads, with 98,436 purchased last year, the Australian Electric Vehicle Industry Recap 2023 shows.

The Electric Vehicle Council report, released on Friday, also found that charging infrastructure locations have increased by 75% from the previous year, with now 812 charging stations across Australia.

Backed by government policies encouraging the use of electric vehicles, the Australian Capital Territory leads the national EV market, with electric vehicles accounting for more than 20% of all new vehicles sold.

EV sales growth in New South Wales was 9%, followed by Queensland – which has the most generous EV rebate scheme in Australia – at 8.3%, and Victoria at 8%. Although relatively low, sales of electric vehicles in the Northern Territory are set to triple by 2023.

Of the turnover, 43% took place in the outer-city areas, while the inner-city areas accounted for 39%.

Tesla Model Y and Model 3 easily outpaced the competition in terms of 99 EVs available in Australia, followed by BYD Atto 3 and MG MG4.

With electric vehicles now accounting for around 1% of all light-duty vehicles in Australia, the report’s authors suggested there is “more work to be done” if Australia hopes to achieve its 2050 zero emissions targets.

The council is calling for a target of one million electric vehicles on Australian roads by 2027, but efforts to drive EV adoption are being hampered by the low supply of new electric vehicles in Australia, which is in turn being affected by the lack of a new standard for vehicle efficiency, the report stated.

The council said it welcomed the federal government’s plans for a new fuel efficiency standard announced in February.

The proposed model would set an annual limit on emissions from new cars to incentivize automakers to deliver low- or zero-emission vehicles and penalize companies that don’t.

Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari said it was “really exciting to see the electric vehicle revolution now rolling out across Australia”.

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“To support this positive trajectory, we need sensible reforms. The federal government’s new vehicle efficiency standards are a crucial step that finally brings Australia into line with the rest of the developed world.

“EVs are no longer something new, they are a core part of everyday life in Australia. Hopefully, the abundant benefits of switching to an electric car will be embraced by millions more Australians over the course of the decade,” he said.

The report also highlighted the state of the US EV market, which it said continued to grow significantly despite claims to the contrary by those with “vested interests” in slowing EV sales.

About 1.4 million electric vehicles were sold in the US in 2023 – more than the total number of new vehicles sold in Australia during the same period.

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This story was updated on March 15, 2024 to clarify that the University of Sydney was not involved in the report, which was prepared by the Electric Vehicle Council.

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