Fifty per cent of consumers would consider buying an electric vehicle today, but this could increase to almost seventy per cent with the correct policy support to help these vehicles reach price parity, according to a report by the Electric Vehicle Council.

Released in Sydney on Thursday, the State of Electric Vehicles Report, prepared by ClimateWorks Australia for the Electric Vehicle Council, provides an up-to-date assessment of the state of Australia’s electric vehicle industry.

The report has shown Australia’s lack of supporting policies, such as emissions standards and policies to reduce electric vehicle costs, is preventing the supply of lower cost models of electric vehicles that make up the bulk of sales internationally. These policies are already in place internationally and have been successful in encouraging electric vehicle uptake.

Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari said the results reinforce the fact that Australians are eager adopters of new technologies that provide environmental and cost benefits.

“What we have in Australia is not a lack of consumer interest in electric vehicles, but a lack of suitable models to choose from.”

“The right level of support and standards provide manufacturers with an incentive to invest in Australia by bringing more choice to the market, providing lower cost alternatives.”

“With that support driving initial momentum, electric vehicles are particularly attractive as they are cleaner and cheaper to operate.”

Results also showed government support is critical to encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles. Consumers indicated that a number of policies would be particularly important in their decision to purchase an electric vehicle, including subsidies to reduce the purchase cost of electric vehicles, subsidies for the installation of home charging infrastructure, and the provision of public charging infrastructure.

“In those states, such as the ACT, where there are stronger incentives for electric vehicles through stamp duty discounts which can reduce the cost of an electric vehicle by over $2,000, we have seen the greatest rate of electric vehicle uptake.”

Another comprehensive approach to supporting electric vehicles is in the introduction of light vehicle CO2 standards, currently being considered by the Commonwealth Government.

“Australia is one of the few remaining developed countries without light vehicle CO2 standards in place,” said Mr Jafari.

“Electric vehicles, powered by renewable energy emit zero carbon emissions, while providing a boost to the economy, providing opportunities for investment in Australian industry.”

“The electric vehicle market in Australia is still in its infancy but we are seeing it grow, from under 50 electric vehicles sold in 2011, to over 1,350 sold in 2016, and with almost 500 dedicated public charging stations deployed to provide additional convenience and options for electric vehicle owners.”

“We expect this rate of uptake to continue, with manufacturers bringing seven new models to market in the next 18 months, and key to this 3 of those models are forecast to be under $60,000.”

“We already have some innovative businesses being developed in Australia to service the electric vehicle industry. With over $50bn already invested in the global electric vehicle industry, now is the time for Australia to take action,” said Mr Jafari.



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