National News

New electric car sales figures show Australia stalled with hazards flashing

New figures released today by the Electric Vehicle Council show Australian electric car sales stagnant at a time when the rest of the world is hitting the accelerator hard.

In 2020, there were 6,900 electric cars sold in Australia, a 2.7 per cent increase from the 6,718 sold in 2019. The 2020 figures show electric cars accounting for 0.7 per cent of total Australian car sales.

By comparison, electric vehicles in the EU increased their market share from 3.8 per cent in 2019 to 10.2 per cent in 2020. In the the UK, it was 3.1 per cent in 2019 against 10.7 per cent in 2020. In California, market share went from 7.6 per cent to 8.1 per cent. And in Norway, it rose from 56 per cent in 2019 to 75 per cent in 2020.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said the baffling Australian anomaly needed to end.

“Australian drivers are ready to join the exciting global electric car transition, but our politicians are yanking the handbrake,” Mr Jafari said.

“There’s simply no sugarcoating it at this point – Australia has marked itself out as a uniquely hostile market to electric vehicles.

“We have no targets, no significant incentives, no fuel efficiency standards – and in Victoria we even have a new tax on non-emitting vehicles.

“Our governments are apparently doing everything possible to ensure Australia is stalled with its hazards on while the rest of the world zooms into the horizon.

“The good news is that given Australia’s abundant natural advantages, it would only take a handful of small changes from government to get us right back on track.

“If we follow the rest of the world and look to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, we will be rewarded with clean city air, reduced carbon impact, enhanced fuel security, and a renewed manufacturing sector.”

Mr Jafari said the Victorian Government’s recent move to implement a special “tax on not polluting” was particularly baffling.

“Victoria is now doing what no other jurisdiction on earth does by discouraging people from buying electric vehicles by slugging them with a special tax,” Mr Jafari said.

“When this policy idea gets pushed by the oil lobby around the world, they typically get laughed out of the room. Tim Pallas cut them a key to his office.

“The federal government’s inaction is bad, but even they’re not destructive enough to actively discourage electric vehicle uptake with a new tax.”