While Australia’s on Track to Hit 100,000 EVs, Fuel Standards Are Still a Roadblock, Report Shows

While Australia’s on Track to Hit 100,000 EVs, Fuel Standards Are Still a Roadblock, Report Shows

Electric vehicle ownership in Australia has almost doubled year-on-year between 2021 and 2022, according to the Electric Vehicle Council.

The Tesla Model 3 remains the most popular electric vehicle in Australia, however, the newly introduced Model Y almost caught up in sales since its introduction halfway through last year.

The figure comes from the Electric Vehicle Council’s 2022 Industry Recap, in which it observes policy changes, uptake and charging station rollouts over the past 12 months.

Let’s have a look through the report and highlight some more interesting findings.

Car sales went way up and newcomers flourished

By far the most impressive finding in the council’s report was that EV buyers nearly doubled in 2022. Year-on-year purchases of EVs increased by 86 per cent in 2022, and it’s expected that Australia will soon surpass the 100,000 on-road EVs milestone sometime this year (with more than 83,000 estimated to be on the road at the moment).

According to the report, 79 per cent of the vehicles counted include battery electric vehicles, with the rest being petrol hybrid electric vehicles. Grey imports and retrofitted vehicles were not counted.

All up, 39,353 new electric vehicles were purchased in 2022, making up 3.8 per cent of all new car purchases in the year, up from 2.05 per cent in 2021. The ACT leads the country on state-based EV market share at 9.7 per cent, with NSW and Victoria in second at 4 per cent, and Queensland at 3.5 per cent.

And, as we already noted, the Tesla Model 3 is still the best-selling electric vehicle in Australia, at 10,877 units sold during the year, followed by Australian market newcomer Tesla Model Y, with 8,717 units sold. The BYD Atto 3, another 2022 newcomer, clocked 2,113 unit sales, tailed by the MG HS+ PHEV at 1,554 and the Polestar 2 at 1,524.

Charing infrastructure

Public charging sites didn’t grow massively in 2022, however, the Electric Vehicle Council says that it has roughly doubled over the past three years. Country-wide, public charging sites increased from 1,614 to 2,392, with individual public chargers growing from 3,413 to 4,943.

NSW has more public chargers than other states in 2022, with 715 sites, while Victoria is in second at 475 sites. Queensland is in third at 433. The council commended the NSW government for “leading the way with excellent policy and grants programs in this space”.

There wasn’t a lot of growth in this space compared to the other areas, but we definitely need to take public charging seriously.

Policy in review

The Electric Vehicle Council also noted several major EV policy highlights of 2022. The first was the federal government’s announcement and commitment to a National Electric Vehicle Strategy (responses to which were recently published). Also noted was the electric car discount, emissions reduction targets, heavy vehicle support and the Driving The Nation fund.

At the state level, the council was pleased that more states were supporting the adoption of EVs in 2022. Last year, Western Australia and Queensland both introduced EV incentives and rebates for private use.

However, once again, fuel efficiency standards are the “number one barrier to getting more EVs onto Australian roads today”.

“The rest of the developed world has introduced for quite some time now very strict fuel efficiency standards or vehicle emission standards that encourage car makers to take their latest and best technologies to their markets first and deprioritise Australia,” said Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari.

“There’s only really one sustainable and consistent way for us to help reduce families petrol bills. That’s by helping them use less of it in the first place, or in the case of electric vehicles, use none of it at all.”

The council is obviously encouraging the adoption of an ambitious fuel efficiency standard in 2023.

Overall, 2022 was a pretty big year for electric vehicles. With more cars on the way, let’s hope that 2023 is an even bigger year.

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