Dream of owning an electric vehicle? The new National Electric Vehicle Strategy might help

green eco friendly car cut out image with leaves representing electric vehicle uptick

Consultations have just closed for the National Electric Vehicle Strategy (NEVS), aiming to develop a national strategy to encourage greater uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia. 

That’s all well and good, but what does that actually mean for Australia’s future with EVs and will it make buying a green car more viable? 

To supplement this, 100 big-name companies have signed up for a 2-page ad for the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC), calling for 1 million EVs to be on Australian roads by 2027. This call to action includes support from manufacturers like Tesla and BMW as well as other major names like Ikea, Woolworths, Uber, Microsoft, Ausgrid and Origin Energy. 

They are calling on Australia’s NEVS to introduce fuel efficiency standards consistent with our global peers, a coordinated electric vehicle charging rollout, and an industry plan to boost EV supply and manufacturing. 

Chair of the Electric Vehicle Council, Behyad Jafari notes that changes to Australia’s EV landscape are long overdue. 

“If we don't put a big dent in our transport emissions by getting more EVs on the roads, it will put unsustainable pressure on other sectors like farming, manufacturing, construction, mining and energy,” says Jafari. 

Road transport is responsible for roughly 16% of Australia’s total carbon emissions, making it a key area to tackle in the quest for zero emissions by 2050. 

Where is Australia’s electric vehicle market now?

Looking at the most recent State of Electric Vehicles Report for October 2022, electric cars still only make up 3.39% of all vehicle sales in Australia. This is a 65% increase on 2021, which shows clear progress, but our EV rate remains nearly 5 times lower than the global average. 

The ACT, who have vowed to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, are leading the country in terms of EV uptake: EVs make up 9.5% of new car sales. This is leagues ahead of the rest of the states and territories, with NSW following on 3.7%.  

There have been more electric vehicles introduced in Australia - 11 new models of plug in and battery electric vehicles have been introduced to the market since March 2022. This brings the total number of EVs available in Australia to 45.

What is the future of EVs in Australia?

New Zealand, which 5 years ago was hovering around 3% for EVs as a percentage of new car registrations, has rocketed up to more than 11% in 2022. We can certainly take this as evidence that a higher EV uptake is possible, assuming better support and governance is in place.

Research has shown that Aussies are enthusiastic about the prospect of electric vehicles, but are restrained by access and car supply

Along with limited EV support infrastructure, this could have something to do with manufacturers not prioritising EV supply to Australia. It’s not because there’s no market for EVs here, but rather because fuel efficiency standards abroad mean many countries will face hefty fines for not meeting requirements. 

As Australia does not have these restrictive standards, many companies would rather prioritise the shipment of their EVs elsewhere. This makes us a bit of a last stop on the list, meaning EV numbers stay low and are subject to long wait times.

There have been questions of how Australia’s energy grid will handle an uptick in electric vehicles, but the Electric Vehicle Council suggests in its report that the solution lies in off-peak charging.

Essentially, there is a need for a united national strategy to create a clear pathway towards national movement in the electric vehicle space. From local manufacturing to greater charging infrastructure, along with better fuel efficiency standards, it’s key that Australia makes real steps to secure a more sustainable future.

If you’re looking to snag an electric vehicle, you’ll need to finance it. Take a look at Mozo’s best car loans to see some standouts. Meanwhile, get the low-down on more ways to go green with our green finance hub.

Compare car loans - last updated 24 April 2024

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