Australia still lagging in terms of EV uptake

Many countries around the world are much further ahead of Australia in terms of uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and despite a record year of sales, EVs still only represented 0.7 per cent of new cars purchased in 2019, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (Bloomberg NEF) analyst Will Edmonds.

“The market is held back by a lack of sales incentives, poor model availability and a mismatch between consumer preferences and the EV models on offer,” said Mr Edmonds.

Although globally EV sales are likely to drop by a fifth this year, Bloomberg NEF’s Long-Term EV outlook predicts that they will make up 7 per cent of all car sales by 2023.

The sale of EVs have been expected to pick up from 2022-23 as the price of the vehicles come into line with similar cars with internal combustion engines.

A Senate committee issued a report in January 2019 recommending the federal government develop an EV strategy which would include strict vehicle emission standards, and developing an EV manufacturing industry in Australia. The federal government is still working on a long-promised EV strategy and this week released the Technology Investment Roadmap, which states EV tech is “on track” globally and that by 2030 EVs “would provide emissions reduction and cost savings”.

Mr Edmonds says that without sales incentives or more rigorous emissions standards, Australia will lag behind other countries.

“At the best of times, manufacturers prioritise larger markets with strict emissions standards, or supportive policies, in their EV sales strategies,” he said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is placing even more pressure on manufacturers’ supply chains, resulting in a bleak outlook for Australia’s already low number of available EV models.”

Without policies, emissions standards or regulations, Bloomberg NEF predicts EV sales will continue to grow slowly in Australia and post- COVID-19, there is likely to be fewer car sales overall for the coming years.

EV sales are expected to rise to over 30,000 units in 2023 and make up 3.2 per cent of new cars sold, which is linked to variation of models available, reduction in cost, and private and government using EV fleets.

The Roadmap report expects Australia to move further ahead from 2030, but EVs will still only make up a quarter of total cars by 2040.

Source: Australia risks being a dumping ground for bad cars if it doesn’t act on EVs

21 May 2020

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