An electric car revolution is brewing in Australia.
New research from comparison website Finder shows that Aussies are warming to the emissions busting technology.
The survey showed almost one in two Australians would consider buying an electric car as their next vehicle.
Two of the biggest reasons cited were because it is “better for the planet” and to save money on petrol.
Electric car sales in Australia are very low — 1755 zero-emission vehicles found a new home in 2020. This doesn’t include Tesla, which doesn’t report its sales figures publicly but is rumoured to be about double that figure.
Taylor Blackburn, an insurance specialist at Finder says those sales figures are likely to head north quickly, as the cost of EVs comes down.
Early adopters will buyed by recent analysis of running costs for EVs.
According to the Electric Vehicle Council, the equivalent cost of an “e-litre” of electricity is $0.33 compared to a $1.50 per litre of fuel for a combustion engine.
But the price can vary widely depending on the source. For instance it is much cheaper to charge at home than via fast chargers.
Last year Tesla announced it was increasing the price for using its supercharger network to 52 cents per kW, a sharp rise of 24 per cent.
The price hike makes it more expensive to fast-charge Teslas than to refill petrol-powered rivals.
Analysis by electric car experts at EVCentral.com.au shows it would cost $9.78 per 100km to run a Tesla Model 3 if it was charged exclusively on the brand’s Supercharger network.
This compares poorly to petrol powered machines such as the BMW 330i at $8.00 per 100km and the hybrid-powered Lexus IS350h at $6.76.
Another discouraging factor to the take up of electric cars was price. Blackburn says prices should drop over the coming years as more competition arrives and manufacturers scale up production.
Jeep boss Cristian Meunier poured cold water on the possibility of widespread take-up of EVs in Australia until the government steps in to help.
“The governments are essential for the technology to accelerate and for these new technologies to become more mainstream. We can see that in Europe and markets like California,” says Meunier.
“Australia today is definitely not ready for BEV (Battery Electric Vehicles) because of the lack of infrastructure. And there is no point trying to push something without the help of the government.”
Insurance is also generally more expensive for electric cars according to Blackburn, but he says there are ways to cut costs.
“Some insurers — like WA’s RAC — will give discounts for cars which have low fuel emissions. Under the RAC scheme, cars under a year old could see a premium reduction of up to 25 per cent,” he said.
Aussie buyers might soon have no choice but to buy electric if some recent announcements are to be believed.
Jaguar says it will go full electric by 2025, while Ford will only sell electric cars in Europe by 2030.
Nearly every car maker in the world is working on or already producing electric vehicles.