The findings indicate that electric cars gained a market share of 1.95 per cent in 2021, up from 0.78 per cent in 2020. A finalised version of the numbers will be published by the Electric Vehicle Council soon.
“Australia doesn’t have a demand problem, it has a supply problem,” says Behyad Jafari, the CEO of the Australian EV Council, Australia’s national body representing the EV industry.
“In 2022 we still don’t have a national EV policy or fuel-efficiency standards. As a result, Australians are left on long waiting queues as the world accelerates toward EVs.”
CORRECTION: Yesterday I reported huge year-on-year growth for EV sales, showing strong demand in the Australian market… that part I got right.— Behyad Jafari ⚡🚘 (@BJafari) February 1, 2022
Unfortunately, there was an error in the data provided to the EVC. EVs still (almost) 3x, selling 20,655 cars for 1.95% market share. pic.twitter.com/toNBeMfzBt
“Fixing that supply issue is a government policy,” Jafari told Gizmodo Australia.
“It’s about having things like fuel efficiency standards in place that require car companies to bring their electric vehicles to our market and the car companies agree with us.
“They’ve said very clearly that ‘because every other country [in the developed world except Russia] has these policies in place and you [Australia] don’t, we send our electric vehicles everywhere else and the ones that you end up getting usually are leftovers’.”
One of the key findings of this data is that the Tesla Model 3 was one of the most popular sedans in the country during 2021.
Originally, data from the Electric Vehicle Council indicated that the Tesla Model 3 was the most popular sedan in Australia, however, there was a human error in reporting numbers from Tesla.
It was outsold by the Toyota Camry during the year, along with the Mazda 3.
“This is a space where we should firmly be world leaders,” Jafari said on Twitter.
“But while the world’s largest car companies and markets have plans to ditch petrol and diesel, our federal government is still asleep at the wheel.”
Jafari stressed the importance of federal action in the electric car space. Some states have been creating policies to ensure EV uptake is supported (like the ACT, which currently offers the greatest incentives). Jafari says it’s not an issue of political bias.
“As states get on with doing good (and sometimes bad) work in this space, there is one key action above all others the federal government must take. Implementing strong fuel efficiency standards, with an eventual target of zero emissions,” he said.
While the Coalition has supported the continued rollout of EV charging stations across the country (a user-generated map of which you can find here), Labor has proposed EV incentives at a federal level like tax changes. Labor has also proposed $3 billion in funding on-shore development of renewables, including EV manufacturing.
Jafari says that there are three key things that the government should be doing on EV uptake, only one of which he said the Coalition has supported.
“Charging stations are an important piece of the puzzle but I would say being in 2022, having fuel efficiency standards are… They’re as important as having roads,” Jafari continued.
“They are, by themselves, a majority of our challenge and the Coalition has said no to those. After that, encouraging people to buy electric vehicles with things like reducing taxes on them, providing short-term incentives; again, very important.
“The government said no to those. And then, making sure that there are chargers, particularly in less-frequented areas… Also an important thing to do and the only one the government said yes to.”
We’ll likely see Australian electric car uptake continue to rise between 2021 and 2022.
“Every year that we don’t act we’re baking in emissions that’ll last up to and past 2050,” Jafari concluded.
The full report is expected to be on the Electric Vehicle Council website soon.
This article has been updated since it was published.