If you’ve seen a few Teslas out on the road – you definitely haven’t heard them – you aren’t alone.
Australia is taking to Electric Vehicles (EV), with the global sales of electric cars in 2021 soared to 10% – a significant portion when talking about every car buying nation on earth.
Though “range anxiety” and total upfront cost hasn’t alleviated completely, the fact is that EV service and maintenance costs end up 70% cheaper per kilometre than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
In Australia, we are lagging behind many other countries and regions such as Europe and the United States.
Whereas in Europe an average EV can take you through three countries, you would struggle to make it out of one state here in Australia.
We are “tyrannised” by distance (7.7 million km2 worth of it) and range anxiety – the real fear your EV might run out of juice mid-journey – is still a major sticking point for those looking to transition.
According to the Electric Vehicle Council, EVs represented 3.39% of all new vehicle sales in Australia at the end of 2022, a 65% increase on 2021. Compare this to Germany, which saw 26% of the market go to EVs!
It’s clear we still have a way to go.
New EV Charging Sites Coming Online
Government and industry have pointed out range anxiety as one of the biggest barriers to buying an EV over an ICE vehicle and have started to address this by rolling out fast charging stations across major highways and roads.
According to the EVC, Australia has seen a 22% increase in fast and ultra-fast charger (50kW-350kW+) locations since 2021, with around 350 chargers now available to the public.
Prior to 2022, 84.4% of Australian EV charging stations were slow, AC chargers delivering a maximum of 22kW on three-phase power.
A 350kW charger can provide 400km of range in about 15 minutes, which can get you halfway from Melbourne to Sydney!
The Federal Government’s Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy promises an additional $250 million towards supporting the use of EVs, including a National Ultrafast EV Charging Network which should see 42 ultrafast charging sites deployed along the east coast including Adelaide, Perth, and Tasmania.
Home Charging Is Expanding
With outdoor sites seemingly multiplying, there are also more options for home charging than ever before.
With relaxation of the 20A limit coming into effect in some jurisdictions, upping it to 32A, EV owners can charge their car overnight and not have to worry if it’s been on long enough.
A new technology, known as bidirectional charging means that your car can act as a battery which is larger than most home-mounted solar batteries, which can power your home appliances using excess solar power instead of the grid.
Of course, your car must be home and connected to the battery to take advantage of any savings benefits.
More Vehicles Are Coming Onto The Aussie Market
With greater adoption of EVs means wider choice in the market. Though a few years ago only a handful of vehicles were available – and if you were prepared to pay a whole lot of dough and hurry up and wait, you could get behind the wheel of one.
The biggest EV marque is Tesla, comprising 63% of the EV market. However some new and exciting vehicles from overseas will be entering Australian markets over 2023.
The successor to the wildly popular Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Ioniq 6, will debut this year (will it sell out in minutes like the 5?) as well as the hyped MG ZS EV, Peugeot e-208, Polestar 3 SUV, Volkswagen ID.4/5 SUV, and newcomer BYD with two new nautical-themed models, the cheap and cheerful Dolphin, priced at about $40,000 and the “Tesla 3 killer” sedan, the Seal – coming in at a respectable $60,000.
These vehicles, on the main, offer more bells and whistles, higher efficiency, and longer ranges – which all bodes well for adoption in Australia as petrol prices continue to push $2 a litre in some regions.
Will Australia Make A Complete Transition?
Though Australia’s reputation as a country built on muscle cars and dust won’t fade into history just yet, current trends may see EV uptake climb to as high as 50% by 2030.
If fuel efficiency standards are enforced in Australia, as well as incentives or tax breaks for buying EVs, we could reach that number quite easily.
Of course, it all depends on the market and the thirst of consumers for changing to electric.
If petrol continues to climb and electric remains a viable, cheaper alternative – especially for those who use solar power – an EV Australia could definitely be on the cards.