Tesla makes the most famous electric cars in Australia.

The final obstacle stopping Australians from adopting electric vehicles is information

Australia has caught up with the rest of the world and now has many of the key ingredients for widespread electric vehicle adoption – infrastructure, a variety of models, government incentives.

However, plug-in cars made up just 1.9 percent of new car sales last year.

Compare that to the 4 percent market share in the United States, China’s 15 percent market share, the European Union’s 19 percent market share, or world-leading Norway, with more than 86 percent of new cars sold a year The past is plug-ins capable.

“Information is probably one of the biggest issues at the moment,” said Tom White, new energy vehicle specialist at CarsGuide. New Daily.

“Things like charging, efficiency, how far you’ll actually get and where you can charge are all really misunderstood.”

Mr. White has authored the CarsGuide EV 2022 report looking at the electric vehicle landscape in Australia, with a look at what the future holds.

His findings refute many preconceptions people hold about electric cars.

range concern

A recurring theme in Australia and the world is that it is assumed that electric cars cannot drive far enough to meet people’s daily needs.

The longest electric car sold in Australia, the Tesla Model S, has a range of 652 kilometers on a single charge.

That’s more than enough to take the 494-kilometre journey from Sydney to Thredbo, for example.

Tesla makes the most famous electric cars in Australia. The company has installed 49 Supercharger stations across the country, like the one in Adelaide. Photo: AAP

“I think people overestimate the distance they might drive, especially since research shows that most Australians actually only travel about 38 kilometers a day,” White said.

“When we were doing our research to compile the report, we actually found that there are 15 separate models that can travel more than 450 kilometers.”

Another major concern for Australian motorists is the dilemma of where to charge an electric vehicle.

However, White said most electric car drivers charge their cars overnight at home as they do with their phones.

Plus, public chargers are more prevalent than many people realize.

Fast chargers like this one in Canberra are popping up in car parks across Australia.
Fast chargers like this one in Canberra are popping up in car parks across Australia. Photo: AAP

There are over 600 public charging stations in NSW, and over 400 in Victoria.

Queensland is home to the Highway of Rapid Electric Vehicles from Quick Chargers that runs from Coolangatta to Port Douglas, north of Cairns.

The state government considers it the world’s largest electric vehicle infrastructure project of its kind within a single country.

For models like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, a quick charger can increase its battery to nearly full in just 18 minutes.

Late Incentives

The Mitsubishi i MiEV compact car hit Australian shores in 2010.
The compact Mitsubishi i MiEV hit Australian shores for fleet sales in 2010. Photo: AAP

In 2010, Australia became one of the first countries to welcome the new wave of electric vehicles when the Mitsubishi i MiEV was put up for sale to fleet customers, and sales to the general public began the following year.

In 2012, the Nissan Leaf went on sale in Australia after breaking sales records around the world.

Both cars were priced much higher than their gasoline competitors and were sold in small numbers.

Australia did not have the generous incentives that other countries had.

At the time in California, for comparison, the same cars were eligible for combined state and federal tax credits of up to $10,000 ($13,800).

Australia is now catching up and several states have introduced incentives to lower the cost of EV purchase.

As part of his report, White considered which state would be the cheapest to buy a new electric car worth $50,000.

“We found that this state was NSW at the moment, because not only do they offer a $3,000 discount, but there is also an exemption from the stamp duty,” White said.

The New South Wales state government has introduced Australia's most generous electric car stimulus package.
The New South Wales state government has introduced the most generous stimulus package in Australia. Photo: AAP

Victoria also has a $3,000 incentive, however, electric vehicle owners are also still subject to a road user fee to make up for lost revenue from the Commonwealth fuel tax.

However, the fuel tax also applies to plug-in hybrid cars, which can still use gasoline once the battery has run out.

“So you are taxed twice for a hybrid electric car in Victoria,” Mr. White said.

Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT do not have any incentives at this time.

A survey conducted by the Council on Electric Vehicles last year showed that 87 percent of respondents had delayed buying an electric vehicle because of the price premium.

That’s why government incentives are such a hot topic.

It makes perfect sense,” Mr. White said.

“For one of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market today, the MG ZS EV, the difference between the electric version and the combustion engine version is $19,000.

“So, especially at this market entry level, this is very challenging for a lot of potential buyers.”

flavor of life

The lack of choice previously prevented many potential buyers from purchasing an electric vehicle.

At present, there are 25 pure electric vehicles and 23 plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market in Australia.

The electric Polestar 2 was launched in Australia by parent company Volvo this year.
The Polestar 2 was launched in Australia by parent company Volvo this year. Photo: AAP

Tesla is the name on everyone’s lips, with three models currently available in Australia.

The startup founded by Elon Musk doesn’t release Australian sales data like other manufacturers, but the filings give an indication of how popular electric cars are in California.

Of the more than 17,000 plug-in cars sold in Australia last year, more than 12,000 were Teslas.

Other options on the market range from the likes of Hyundai and Kia, all the way to Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

However, the range offered is still slimmer than in the United States, Europe and Asia.

“Global automakers are much more interested in selling cars in Europe, the United States or even New Zealand, where fuel efficiency standards are set and governments provide unequivocal support for the transition,” said Bhaiyad Jafari, CEO of the Council on Electric Vehicles.

“The Morrison government appears to have mixed its myopic views on electric vehicles with those of ordinary Australians and completely misjudged how demand will grow,” he added.

The road ahead

White believes that more Australians will adopt electric vehicles in the near future, “once people start seeing charging places and parking lots fill up with Tesla Model 3s”.

He added that one of the things Australia could learn from abroad is for government agencies to include more electric vehicles in their fleets.

In this way, they will eventually find their way into the used car market which is still in its infancy for electric vehicles in Australia.

Chinese electric car giant BYD has recruited soccer star Tim Cahill to unveil the Auto 3 in Sydney.
Chinese electric car giant BYD has recruited soccer star Tim Cahill to unveil the Auto 3 in Sydney. Photo: Getty

There is also an avalanche of new models on the horizon.

At least 13 new pure electric vehicles are scheduled to launch domestically in the next 12 months, including the Tesla Model Y, BMW i4 and Volkswagen ID.3.

Chinese companies that sell tens of thousands of electric vehicles in their home country and already export to other continents are also setting their sights on Australia.

Warren Buffet-backed automaker BYD plans to launch a midsize hatch later this year priced under $45,000, ahead of state incentives.

“It looks like the BYD Atto 3 will battle the MG ZS EV for the title of Australia’s cheapest electric car,” White said.

“This kind of competition is exciting because it means it’s definitely going to attract more buyers.”

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