More signs that Australians want electric cars for their next car purchase

With 100% Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV’s) and Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV’s) selling in the thousands for the past few years it’d be understandable to assume EV’s aren’t a huge thing.

According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries they have accounted for around 0.05% of total new vehicles sold in the first five months of 2017. In Australia, EV’s are hardly a roaring success.

We’ve also had heads of major car companies like Nissan explicitly say that they won’t work in Australia.

I don’t think today there is anything to lead us to think that Australia is going to see, soon, electric cars – Carlos Ghson, Renault Nissan Alliance chairman

But a new report just released by Victorian based road toll company EastLink says otherwise. The EastLink first Annual Victorian Self-Driving Vehicle Survey mainly looked at Self-Driving technologies and peoples opinion of them, however it also revealed some interesting trends about EV’s in general.

What cars do Australians currently drive?

The BMW i3

Conducted over four weeks in September and October EastLink surveyed over 15,000 Victorians online. Unfortunately this wasn’t a nation wide survey as EastLink is a Victorian based company, so it’s not possible to say that this is representative of the Australian market as a whole – but it’s still a notable sample.

One of the first questions asked was about the current car they drive and how it’s powered.

How is your current vehicle powered?

Petrol 80%
Diesel 17%
LPG 2.1%
Hybrid 1.5%
100% Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) 0.3%

No surprises there!

BEV’s and PHEV’s only make up 1.8% which seems to actually be quite a high amount compared to the nation wide reports. Over the whole, country EV penetration has barely reached 0.1% according to reports, let alone 1%!

What cars do Australians want to drive in the future?

What power preference/s do you have for your NEXT vehicle?

Petrol 40%
Hybrid 34%
100% Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) 25%
Diesel 24%
Don’t know 18%
Other 3%

A full quarter of the respondents are considering buying all electric as their next car. Not a hybrid, not a plug in hybrid. 100% BEV. A huge difference from the current sales figures we see today.

A further 34% are considering plug-in hybrids, meaning that a majority (59%) are thinking about making their next car electrified. Clearly this shows that Australians not only know a bit about EV’s, but also want to experience and own them.

The survey also investigated how this preference changed when taking into account when they’d buy their next car. It found that as the question went more into the future – for example buying within 5 years vs 10 – the more respondents wanted BEV’s and PHEV’s.

For those that will buy their next car in 10 years time, almost 70% are considering buying a BEV or PHEV.

Demand for electric vehicles, even with zero advertising and a lack of affordable options

The Tesla Model 3 has huge demand already without any paid advertising by Tesla

One of the reasons these results are astonishing is that in Australia EV’s are rarely, if ever advertised. Despite this, a large percentage of respondents are still considering them for their next car! Imagine what the demand would be if they advertised and had widely available products in multiple car categories.

Countries world wide have already announced they’ve banned the sale of new fossil fuel cars from certain dates. Most recently the Netherlands announced that as of 2030, all new cars must be emissions free.

As more and more counties including India, Scotland, China and Germany continue to ban and push for stricter mandates on fossil fuel cars it’s possible Australia will become a dumping ground for fossil fuel cars that cannot be sold elsewhere.

This data, to me, shows that more and more Aussies want their next car to be electric. Hopefully car companies step up to the challenge and deliver some fantastic new options.

So do you want your next car to be an EV too?

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