Lifestyle Electric Vehicles in Australia
The future of electric mobility in Australia is beginning to take shape
Australia has one of the slowest uptakes of fully electric vehicles (EV's) in the developed world1. But this is not due to a lack of interest in the local market. A study conducted by the Electric Vehicle Council, in partnership with Carsales.com.au in 2021, found that 54% of Australians would consider purchasing an electric vehicle as their next car and 49% of respondents see themselves driving an EV by 20302.
The progressive attitudes of governments across Europe and China in particular, are creating a halo effect that's inspiring a more positive outlook for EVs. By setting strong vehicle emission reduction targets and supporting the transition with various subsidies (both financial and non-financial), uptake is underway, and the world is seeing more and more choice in the EV space as a result. Australia has started to see the impact of this movement, although much slower than the rates seen overseas.
As the cost of battery manufacturing continues to fall, thanks to both technological advancements and better economies of scale, we see EVs coming equipped with bigger/more advanced batteries capable of delivering higher driving ranges, without further increasing the prices of entry-level EVs, opening up the market for rapid sales growth. The second-generation Nissan LEAF is competitively priced bringing the electric vehicle into reach for motorists across the country.
2021 has seen a significant amount of activity in terms of local policy, with several state governments launching various measures to support increased uptake of EVs3. In the 3 months from May-21 to July-21 Victoria, New South Wales, ACT, NT and Tasmania have all announced new or enhanced EV policies. Several of these state governments, namely Victoria & New South Wales are looking to increase EV uptake to 50% of new vehicle sales by 2030.
A further hesitation for many Australian motorists is the perceived lack of public charging stations. Compared to other developed markets, Australia has the highest penetration of household solar (approx. 30% homes4) and many Australians have access to off-street parking, making our market ripe for affordable and clean home charging. While 80% of average EV drivers charge their cars at home, the industry recognizes that a network of public charging stations is essential to the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles5. According to the Electric Vehicle Councils State of Electric Vehicles 2021 report (August 2021) there were over 3,000 public chargers installed across Australia at over 1,650 locations. Of these chargers, 470 are DC fast or ultra-fast chargers (50 kW and over), which have been installed at almost 250 locations – which is a growth of 24% year on year3.
Many state governments as well as the Federal Government have committed significant funds for co-investing with the private sector to build more fast chargers. Recently the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced the first funding around of the Future Fuel’s Fund, which will see $25M contributed to the establishment of over 400 public fast charging stations for electric vehicles nationally6.
Long-range EV driving
Charging infrastructure is growing at a rapid pace, with more and more parts of Australia already connected by EV charging infrastructure and much more to come.
In Queensland, the government’s Electric Super Highway project created one of the world’s longest section of highway equipped with fast-charging stations. Stretching from Coolangatta to Port Douglas and from Brisbane to Toowoomba, the 31 site network, ensuring that EV motorists can drive the state’s 1,800km coastline with ease7.
Additionally the QLD government have announced stage 3 which will add another 18 sites connecting more regional and rural inland locations.
Within NSW, the NRMA have constructed a 44 station network across major NSW roads to connecting many regional destinations8. In addition, the NSW government announced a $131M in June-21 to further enhance the charging network across the state including EV chargers to be placed every 100km on major highways and every 5km within metropolitan areas9.
Further solidifying an electric car’s viability for long-range driving, the Victorian-based company, Chargefox, has completed a network of ultra-rapid charging points capable of delivering EVs with 400km of range in just 15 minutes. 22 locations have created a network that connects major Australian cities from Adelaide to Brisbane.10.
Every state and territory has an increasing number of charging locations, with plenty more growth forecasted in the next couple of years based on recent announcements meaning EV drivers will increasingly be able to embark on regional journeys and road trips just as confidently as those in petrol-driven vehicles.
The average Australian drives 33km per day11. With an indicative driving range of up to 385km for the LEAF e+*, an EV such as the second-generation Nissan LEAF delivers the everyday urban driver a full week of driving on a single charge. This makes the second-generation Nissan LEAF a truly convenient option for day-to-day commuting and more.
*439km range tested to Australian NEDC ADR81/02 standard. 385km indicative driving range using the new WLTP test procedure for the European spec model. Note Australian model has not been tested using WLTP test procedure. Figures obtained after the battery was fully charged. Figures stated for the purposes of comparison amongst vehicles tested to the same technical procedures only. Actual real world driving range may vary depending on factors such as battery age and condition, driving style, use of heating/cooling, traffic conditions, weather conditions, any accessories fitted and vehicle load.