Electric Vehicle Market Surge in Australia Faces Policy Challenges

In a remarkable surge of interest, electric vehicles (EVs) are swiftly gaining traction among Australians, surpassing last year's entire annual sales in just the first half of 2023. However, this promising trend is accompanied by concerns over a lack of cohesive federal policies that continue to impede consumer choices in the EV market.

The Electric Vehicle Council has cast a spotlight on the Victorian government, criticizing its taxation approach towards EV ownership as "the world's worst."  In the span of January to June this year, a noteworthy 8.4% of all new car sales in Australia constituted electric vehicles. This is in stark contrast to the 3.8% of new vehicle sales that were electric in the preceding year, 2022.

The recently sold 46,624 EVs during the initial half of the year bring the total count of EVs on Australian roads to an estimated 130,000. This consists of approximately 109,000 battery-powered cars and 21,000 hybrids, according to data provided by the Electric Vehicle Council.

However, this transition to EVs isn't uniform across all regions. The Australian Capital Territory leads the pack with an impressive 21.8% of new cars sold being electric. New South Wales and Tasmania follow suit with 9%, while Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory stand at 8.5%, 7.7%, 7.5%, 6.5%, and 2.4%, respectively.

The swift sell-out of new electric car releases underscores the demand, which Electric Vehicle Council's CEO, Behyad Jafari, estimates to be twice the current sales figures. Unfortunately, the scarcity of supply often leads consumers to opt for conventional vehicles due to the extended waiting times.

Jafari draws a direct link between the dearth of EV supply and Australia's absence of a new fuel-efficiency standard. These standards, established by governments, cap carbon emissions across manufacturers' total sales, encouraging low and zero-emission vehicle production. He points out that the Albanese government's promise of such standards has yet to be implemented, placing Australia at a disadvantage as other right-hand drive countries like Thailand adopt similar measures.

The Electric Vehicle Council's evaluation of each state and territory's EV policies, encompassing taxes, industry support, and uptake initiatives, highlights New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory as frontrunners with a rating of 9/10.

In a critical assessment, the council condemns recent policy shifts by the Victorian government, asserting that these changes are undermining the adoption of EVs. A controversial road user tax introduced in 2021, requiring EV drivers to pay per kilometer traveled, has been identified as a deterrent. Moreover, the abrupt termination of the $3,000 rebate on sub-$68,740 new EVs by the Victorian government has added to the concerns.

As Australia navigates the dynamic landscape of electric vehicle adoption, it becomes evident that while consumer enthusiasm remains high, an urgent need for comprehensive and supportive federal policies is paramount to sustain this positive trajectory.


Article Source: The Guardian 

What this means for Infinitev?

With the ever-increasing paradigm of EV and hybrid vehicles on the road, the need to repurpose batteries will grow as more of these vehicles enter the market.