EV sales booming, but Australia still miles behind

Electric vehicle (EV) charging at kerbside charging station (sicona funding)
Image: Shutterstock

Electric vehicles (EVs) now represent 3.39% of all vehicle sales, a 65% increase on 2021, according to the Electric Vehicle Council‘s new State of EVs report released today.

The ACT leads the nation on sales, with 9.5% of all new vehicles sales being EVs. It is followed by New South Wales (3.7%), Victoria (3.4%), Queensland (3.3%), Tasmania (3.3%), Western Australia (2.8%), South Australia (2.3%), and the Northern Territory (0.8%).

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The State of EVs report once again grades Australia’s jurisdictions on their approach to EVs, and while no single government leads on every policy area, the ACT and NSW lead overall (8/10); followed by federal (7/10); Queensland (6/10); Victoria (5/10); SA, NT and WA (4/10), and Tasmania (3/10).

There has been a 22% increase in fast and ultra-fast charger locations since 2021, with around 350 chargers now available to the public.

Electric Vehicle Council head of policy Jake Whitehead said while the increased enthusiasm was welcome, Australia still needed a strong National EV Strategy to catch up to the rest of the world.

“It’s great to see so much momentum behind EV sales in Australia, but to put our 3.4 per cent in context—Germany sits at 26%, the UK at 19%, and California at 13%. The global average is 8.6%, so Australia has a long, long way to come,” Dr Whitehead said.

“We know from all the research that Australians are keen to get behind the wheel of an EV, but they just aren’t getting the access that other markets get. Because our governments have lagged the world on EV policy, Australia is still something of an afterthought for global EV manufacturers. So Australian consumers have a smaller range of EVs to choose from and they are also being forced to wait for many months or even years to take delivery of new vehicles.

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“The good news is the new federal government understands the opportunities of EVs and is working on a genuine EV strategy. Although that strategy will need include a range of measures, high on the list must be fuel efficiency standards.

“If Australia does not introduce fuel efficiency standards on par with the EU and the US we will continue to lag the world by a huge margin. Given transport makes up 19 per cent of Australia’s emissions we also can’t say we’re serious about achieving our 2030 emission reduction target without fuel efficiency standards.”

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