In a recent study* spanning 18 countries including Australia and New Zealand, researchers asked 13,000 people looking to buy a car about their intent to buy an EV, their car buying journey process, their motivations and concerns. The results show a significant increase in consumer confidence in EVs with 52% of participants intending to purchase some type of EV (whether fully electric, plug-in hybrid, or hybrid).

Sales are rising

Sales of EVs are rising and in Australia EVs now represent 3.4% of new car sales, an increase of 65% since 2021. To put that into context, Germany sits at 26%, the UK at 19%, and California at 13%**. In some countries the increases have been staggering. For example, in Norway nearly 90% of vehicles are now electric, and in Sweden market share has jumped from 18% to 62% between 2019-2022.

In Australia the biggest problem at the moment is the ability to actually purchase an EV, with demand outpacing supply. Globally, an average of 8.6% of new car sales are EVs, so Australia still has a long way to go.

Governments are setting targets

More than 20 countries have set electrification targets or bans on traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, and under COP26 around 70 countries have set net zero targets***, further driving EV adoption. Here in Australia the Federal Government recently set reviewed targets for net zero emissions by 2050 and the Queensland Government released its more ambitious targets for net zero emissions as well.

There are some incentives in Australia for individuals to purchase EVs including in some States reduced stamp duty and registration, and investment in public fast charging networks like the Queensland Electric Super Highway.

EV technology and cost is improving

As with any new technology, over time there are efficiencies in production, lessons learnt and more competition in the market, which leads to improvements in technology. For example, range anxiety was once the biggest concern for potential EV buyers, but this has lessened as batteries have improved charging potential, longer life spans and better driving range.

The number of public EV charging stations is increasing in both towns and on popular travel routes. You can generally charge your EV at a much faster rate at these charging stations than you could at home.

See the cost of ownership calculator on the Electric Vehicle Council website, which provides an understanding of the comparative costs of owning an electric vehicle in Australia, with and without batteries and solar.

Manufacturers switching to EV production

Australia is dependent on imported vehicles, and as manufacturers around the world stop producing ICE cars either because of demand from consumers for EVs, the impact of government mandates, or a combination of the two – there simply won’t be any more ICE models to import into Australia.

At that point, the Australian market will be forced to embrace EVs – and it will be crucial that we have the infrastructure in place to manage that transition smoothly.

*Source: EY Mobility Consumer Index 2022 Study

**Source: EV Council, State of EV Report

***Source: United Nations

Related reading

Lessons from Norway
What drives people to buy an electric vehicle?
Most popular charging stations on the Queensland Electric Super Highway
EV Trip Planner
Electric vehicle myth busters