Australia still lags behind in EV sales with hazards flashing – Electric Vehicle Council

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Image Credit: (Joenomias) Menno de Jong from Pixabay

Australian electric car sales remain stagnant relative to global accelerator sales figures, new figures from Electric Vehicle Council revealed today. 

In 2020, up to 6,900 electric cars were sold in Australia. New figures show that EVs accounted for 0.7 per cent of total Australian car sales last year – marking a 2.7 per cent increase from 2019.

Australia’s marginal increase in domestic EV sales still pales in comparison to electric car sales across the globe.

In 2020, electric vehicles in the EU saw their market share increase 10.2 per cent from 3.8 per cent the previous year; in the U.K., it was 10.7 per cent from 3.1 per cent; in California, market share jumped 8.1 per cent from 7.6 per cent; and in Norway, it rose 75 per cent from 56 per cent.

“Australian drivers are ready to join the exciting global electric car transition, but our politicians are yanking the handbrake,” explained Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari.

“There’s simply no sugarcoating it at this point – Australia has marked itself out as a uniquely hostile market to electric vehicles.”

“Our governments are apparently doing everything possible to ensure Australia is stalled with its hazards on while the rest of the world zooms into the horizon.

However, Jafari opined that it should take a “handful of small changes from the government” to push EV car sales figures up given the abundance of natural resources in Australia.

“If we follow the rest of the world and look to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, we will be rewarded with clean city air, reduced carbon impact, enhanced fuel security, and a renewed manufacturing sector.”

Jafari said the Federal Government has made “no target, no significant incentives, no fuel efficiency standards” to encourage EV use, adding that Victoria’s recent tax on non-emitting vehicles could further discourage Australians from purchasing electric cars.

Victoria’s registered zero and low emission vehicles (ZLEVs) Road-user charge, which will take effect from July 2021, will see the local government taxing EVs and other zero emission vehicles 2.5 cents per kilometre travelled – much like how conventional vehicles are taxed.

“Australian drivers pay fuel excise when they fill up their vehicle with petrol, diesel or liquefied petroleum gas. Zero and low emission vehicle owners currently pay little or no fuel excise but still use our roads,” the Roads Corporation of Victoria explained.

“The federal government’s inaction is bad, but even they’re not destructive enough to actively discourage electric vehicle uptake with a new tax,” Jafari commented.