Council calls for regulatory reform as electric car sales accelerate


The Electric Vehicle Council’s (EVC) latest State of Electric Vehicles report shows a significant surge in electric vehicle (EV) sales with EVs representing 8.4% of all new cars sold in Australia in the first half of 2023, up from 3.8% for the same period last year. The new high is a 120.5% increase compared to 2022.

Sales of electric cars in Australia in the first six months of the year eclipsed the total for all of 2022 with 46,624 EVs sold in the light vehicle market as of the end of June, a 269% increase on the same period in 2022.

The ECV said the sales figures are a move in the right direction but cautioned that Australia still has a long way to go to catch up to international standards and it is well behind what is required to achieve the nation’s emissions targets.

“While these most recent sales figures are encouraging, in order for Australia to achieve its climate targets, it is expected that more than 50% of all new cars sold in 2030 will need to be EVs,” the council says in the report. “This means Australia will need to aim for around 1 million EVs on our roads by the end of 2027.”

The ECV called for the introduction of a globally competitive new vehicle efficiency standard to bring Australia into line with comparable overseas markets, like the U.S., European Union and New Zealand before 2030.

The report shows that the vast majority of EV sales in the first six months of 2023 is made up of only three models. The Tesla Model Y, Tesla Model 3, and BYD Atto 3 represent more than 68% of all EV new car sales during the period.

“While there are now 91 electric car, van and ute models available in Australia, most of these are only being supplied in small volumes,” the ECV said. “This is a consequence of Australia not having a new vehicle efficiency standard to ensure car manufacturers increase the supply of EVs to our country.”

The ECV said the lack of regulatory reform by government vehicles is also hindering the adoption of heavy EVs, including buses and trucks.

“While there is strong interest from industry to make the switch to electric heavy vehicles, this transition is being held back by a lack of suitable vehicles,” it said.

The ECV estimates that there are now approximately 130,000 EVs on Australia’s roads, made up of about 109,000 battery electric vehicles and 21,000 plug-in hybrid EVs. The council estimates that If EV sales continue at the same rate for the remainder of 2023, the fleet should reach close to 180,000 by year’s end.

Drivers in the Australian Capital Territory lead the country on EV sales as a proportion of new vehicle sales) at 21.8%, followed by Tasmania (9.0%), New South Wales (9.0%), Victoria (8.5%), Queensland (7.7%), Western Australia (7.5%), South Australia (6.5%), and the Northern Territory (2.4%)

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