Australia is on the verge of a significant surge in electric vehicle (EV) sales, driven by the increasing affordability of models that now compete favorably with petrol cars on price. Over the past three years, the share of EVs in new car sales has tripled annually, thanks to a rising number of affordable models and declining retail prices. The growth is supported by a robust increase in EV charging stations, up 72% in the past year, boasting 800 stations with 2000 fast plugs nationwide.
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen notes that consumers and businesses are making the shift to EVs, drawn by lower running costs. The average annual electricity cost for an EV is approximately $400, compared to the $2400 spent on annual fuel costs for a petrol car. While Australia still trails the global market, which saw EVs account for 18% of new car sales, the local market has made significant strides, exceeding 8% of new car sales in 2023, up from 3% in 2022.
Tax incentives further boost the appeal of EVs, making them more cost-effective than petrol vehicles in many cases. To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, analysts suggest that EVs need to comprise 100% of new car sales by 2033, a goal that could be attainable with the implementation of fuel efficiency standards. While Australia lags in this regard, reforms and policy interventions could accelerate the adoption of EVs, potentially closing the gap with global trends.
Despite the government's delay in releasing an impact analysis on potential reforms, EV sales have doubled annually for the past three years, gaining traction even in less affluent areas. Early data indicates a notable shift in EV adoption, with the majority of sales occurring outside major cities' inner suburbs, particularly in areas like western Sydney. The industry remains optimistic about Australia's potential to catch up, emphasizing the need for proactive policies and supportive measures to further boost EV uptake across the country.