Australian demand for electric vehicles has skyrocketed, but we are lagging behind other countries

ACT wins

The ACT has the largest share of the EV market share at 9.7 per cent, but NSW and Victoria have made significant gains in this area.

For example, Victoria aims to make half of all light vehicle sales zero emissions by 2030. NSW has made significant investments in the region, including eliminating stamp duty on electric vehicles under $78,000 and on all other electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids from July 1st. 2027

Even the Northern Territory almost doubled its market share between 2021 and 2022, albeit from a lower base.

battery or hybrid

The report finds that of the 83,000 electric vehicles on the road, the majority are battery electric vehicles (BEVs) versus 21 percent are plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

Jafari said Australia will struggle to meet its national emissions targets unless more is done.

“In order to achieve the federal government’s emissions target, we need a fleet of vehicles that is almost completely emission-free by 2050. To stay on track, that means reaching one million EVs by 2027 and around 3 million EVs by 2030,” he said. “We can definitely meet these targets, but not without an ambitious fuel efficiency standard to expand EV deliveries to Australia. The federal government should urgently introduce this standard before the end of this year.

“Australians are early adopters by nature, we care about our environment and don’t want to rely on foreign oil. There is no reason for us to continue lagging behind the world in EV adoption.”

The federal government seeks the opinions of stakeholders on fuel efficiency standards, but found that previous consultations had supported them.

A spokeswoman for Transport Secretary Catherine King said if the government proceeded additional detailed consultations and analysis would be carried out.

Australia lags behind other countries

The acceptance of electric vehicles is booming worldwide. The International Energy Agency said there would be 16.5 million electric vehicles on the roads in 2021, a tripling in just three years.

The UK, Japan, France and Germany have pledged to ban sales of internal combustion engines between 2025 and 2030. While in 2020 Norway became the first country where electric vehicle sales surpassed sales of petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles combined.


There are 7.8 million electric vehicles on the road in China, 5.5 million in Europe and 2 million in the US. China also has the EV battery value chain. Almost all (97 per cent) of Australia’s lithium is processed here and three quarters of the world’s battery cells are manufactured.

Jafari said it’s important to remember that other countries have larger populations than ours. But we also have an opportunity to become a world leader given Australia’s critical minerals used to make EV batteries. It is already the world’s largest producer of lithium and one of the largest producers of nickel, cobalt, manganese ore and rare earths.

The International Energy Agency estimates that demand for EV batteries will increase more than tenfold this decade, stretching production capacity and the supply of materials that go into them.

Professor Yuan Chen, from the University of Sydney School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, said sales would continue to rise as investment in Australia’s charging infrastructure increased.

The EVC report finds that the number of public chargers has increased from about 3,400 in 2021 to nearly 4,950 last year, while the number of fast chargers has increased from 231 to 365.

Chen said Australia’s environment makes it an ideal EV market.

“Our weather conditions are perfect for electric vehicles – temperatures across Australia are in the moderate range,” he said. “In Norway, temperatures drop to minus 30 degrees, but we don’t have that problem.”

He added that Australia’s renewable energy markets would also allow cars to be charged without relying on electricity from the fossil fuel industry and the country has a unique opportunity to build an EV industry. “It will take years,” he said.

What is the most popular brand

More than 70 models with about 38 BEVs and 32 PHEVs are available to consumers. While the chart below shows the top 20 models from last year, some of them weren’t on the market all year.


Looking ahead, electric sports cars, SUVs, vans and a whole fleet of battery-powered hatchbacks are expected to come to Australia this year. Toyota, Fiat, Subaru and Ford are poised to launch electric vehicles in the country for the first time.

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Brian Lowry

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