Weak policy framework key challenge for EV growth in Australia, says GlobalData

Following the news that electric car sales in Australia grew by just 2.7% in 2020, according to the Electric Vehicle Council;

Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData, a leading research and consulting company, offers his view:

“Unlike other developed countries, which are trying hard to hit their electric vehicle (EV) sales targets, EVs accounted for a mere 0.7% of the total new cars sold in Australia in 2020, just 0.1% up from the previous year.

“Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, inconsistent policies, and lack of concrete EV benefits such as zero import taxes, sales tax exemptions and rebates are the key factors sabotaging the growth of EVs in Australia. Premium EVs presently incur import duties, luxury car tax and no financial subsidy from the government. Some states such as Victoria even has road use tax on EVs. The federal government aims to increase the EV share in total sales to 26% by 2030, which currently looks unachievable in the present policy setup.

“Australia presently has over 28 EV models from top OEMs such as Tesla, Hyundai, Renault and Nissan. Consumer sentiments over EVs seems to be positive as more models can be seen entering the market. A demand push from federal government is something that can act as key ingredient for success of EVs in the country. Government should look forward to a standardized EV policy along with offering financial benefits for EV owners. Fuel efficiency standards or introduction of green taxes to penalize polluting vehicles should also be considered. Government can also look forward to strengthen fast charging infrastructure with public and private partnerships to boost the domestic EV ecosystem.”

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