Australia must accelerate on electric vehicles

Electric vehicle

I’ve finally got myself an electric vehicle. I should have got one sooner, but Scott Morrison did tell me it would ruin my weekend.

Seriously, we Australians are well behind the leading countries on EV take-up. Last year, 88 per cent of new vehicles sold in Norway were EVs, with 31 per cent of sales in Germany, 30 per cent in China and 23 per cent in the United Kingdom also electric.

In Australia, EV sales in the first quarter of 2023 were 6.8 per cent of total sales, up from 2.2 per cent for same period last year.

The reasons for our low take-up include the cynicism of leaders like Mr Morrison, which both undermined the technology in Australia and discouraged EV manufacturers from supplying the Australian market. Then, the lack of charging infrastructure, relative to other technologically advanced countries, makes consumers worry about the practicalities.

With electric vehicles prices set to plummet further over the next year, on the back of new models entering the Australian market, the best thing governments could do to support take-up would be to subsidise solar-powered home charging facilities.

A week into my EV journey, I won’t be looking back. Recharging is different to refuelling, and you do have to plan. But, running costs are significantly lower.  And, with instant torque, the biggest risk to my weekend is a speeding fine.

This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.


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