More Aussies to buy an electric cars but price a factor

The price of electric vehicles is still proving a speed bump in Australia, a report has found, and government rebates may not be addressing the issue.

But the research by Pureprofile, released on Wednesday, also found a greater number of Australians intended to buy low-emission vehicles in the next five years, and those who already drove electric cars intended to buy another in future.

The research comes a month after the federal government revealed laws to bring more electric vehicles to Australia, and after sales figures showed electric cars made up almost 10 per cent of new car purchases.

Pureprofile’s latest electric vehicle study, which followed a similar report in August 2023, surveyed more than 2000 Australians and more than 1000 New Zealanders about electric transport.

It found more than half of Australian drivers intended to purchase a new car in the next year, 30 per cent of those buyers intended their new vehicle to be an electric model and 20 per cent would shop for a hybrid car.

The biggest reasons behind electric car purchases, the study said, were potential fuel savings, environmental benefits and energy efficiency, as well as using solar power to fuel their travel.

However, the report also found the rising cost of living and high purchase prices for electric cars remained a drawback, and government rebates only played a small role in purchase intentions.

Just 15 per cent of Australians said government rebates would motivate them to purchase and electric car, and 37 per cent of that group said they would still purchase an EV if the rebate was taken away.

Pureprofile Asia Pacific managing director Anna Meiler said the finding could encourage state governments to consider new ways to inform and motivate motorists.

‚ÄúPeople do not seem to be factoring government rebates into their EV decisions but this might be a result of several EV schemes ending in some Australian states,‚ÄĚ she said.

‚ÄúThis leaves some potential for more creative motivation avenues, such as community or business EV share schemes that encourage people to experience EV ownership without the full financial commitment.‚ÄĚ

Victoria, NSW and South Australia have removed financial rebates on the purchase of electric vehicles, though incentives remain in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania.

The Pureprofile research also found motorists who had purchased an electric vehicle did not regret their decision, and 94 per cent would buy an EV for their next car.

The study comes after electric vehicles made up 9.5 per cent of new car sales during March, up from 6.7 per cent in 2023, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, and it follows the federal government’s announcement of a New Vehicle Efficiency Standard.

The standard, to be introduced in January 2025, will set emissions targets for vehicle fleets with the goal of reducing emissions from passenger cars by 60 per cent in 2029, and encouraging automakers to bring more low-emission models to the country.

 

Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
(Australian Associated Press)

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