Australia lagging behind on electric cars

Hannah Ryan
(Australian Associated Press)


Australians have been much slower to embrace electric cars than their counterparts in the EU, UK and California.

Sales of electric vehicles in Europe, Britain and the US boomed last year, while in Australia the already low numbers stagnated, according to figures released by the Electric Vehicle Council.

Just 6900 electric cars were sold in Australia last year, up just 2.7 per cent from 6718 in 2019.

Electric cars make up just 0.7 per cent of Australian car sales.

The numbers pale in comparison to some northern hemisphere destinations.

Electric cars made up more than 10 per cent of car sales in the EU and the UK last year, up from between three and four per cent the year before.

In California, market share rose to 8.1 per cent from 7.6 per cent between 2019 and 2020.

Most astonishingly, 75 per cent of cars sold in Norway last year were electric, up from 56 per cent in 2019.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari blamed politicians and policymakers for Australia’s laggard status.

“There’s simply no sugar coating it at this point – Australia has marked itself out as uniquely hostile market to electric vehicles,” Mr Jafari said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We have no targets, no significant incentives, no fuel efficiency standards …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.”


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