“Nothing to fear”: EV survey dispels range anxiety myth

Close up shot of shiny red Tesla EV in garage (polestar)
Image: Shutterstock

Australia’s largest ever survey of electric vehicle (EV) owners has dispelled the range anxiety myth, finding Tesla drivers are travelling the same average kilometres a year as everyone else. 

A survey of 741 Tesla drivers, conducted by the Electric Vehicle Council and the Tesla Owners Club of Australia (TOCA), shows 89% drove more than 10,000km a year, while 38% exceeded 20,000km a year. 

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The national average for all passenger vehicles is 11,100km annually.

The vast majority of drivers charge their vehicles during off-peak times, suggesting current market offers like time-of-use tariffs are working. The report also found:

  • 51% of Tesla drivers were aged between 50 and 69, with just 12 per cent under 40
  • Volkswagen and Toyota were the most commonly previously owned car before a Tesla despite the leading EV brand being often considered luxury  
  • Almost half of respondents saved more than $2,000 on petrol a year, while 77 per cent saved more than $1,000
  • Technology (83 per cent) and environment (78%) were the most common reasons for buying a Tesla
  • 65 per cent did not have a regular servicing schedule and 41% saved more than $1,000 on maintenance costs.

Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari said the study would be valuable for policy makers trying to boost Australia’s uptake of EVs.

“This study puts another nail in the coffin of the myth that driving range is an issue for EV owners with the vast majority driving the same average kilometres a year as Australia’s average passenger vehicle,” he said.

“We know range anxiety is a major impediment to people buying EVs. This finding is yet another reason showing there is nothing to fear.

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“EV owners are saving thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance costs. At a time when petrol and diesel prices are going through the roof, the Australian government must introduce long-overdue fuel efficiency standards to cut costs in the future and drive down emissions.

“The survey also found that only 10% of respondents charged their vehicles at work indicating there is ample scope for employers to install charging infrastructure. If Australia introduced a fringe benefits tax exemption for workplace charging it would help align EV charging with daytime excess solar energy generation.”

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