Australians are locked out of EVs by price and availability - Solar Citizens

Australians are locked out of EVs by price and availability

12th August 2022: Australians are locked out of EVs by price and availability

Rising petrol prices is the top concern for Australians worried about cost of living, and most are keen to make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) but are being deterred by the higher purchase price, according to a survey of over 1,700 Australians by Clean Transport advocates Solar Citizens. 

A sample of 1712 Australians surveyed by Solar Citizens showed that 64 per cent were interested in buying an electric vehicle over the next three years, but a majority named purchase price as the biggest barrier to do so (64%).

“When I did the maths on buying an electric car three years ago, they were too expensive and there weren’t enough models to choose from in Australia. I was prepared to dig a bit deeper for the right car, and there were models I wanted to buy available overseas but not here. Ringing the car dealerships, they weren’t expecting those models here anytime soon. And three years later we're still waiting for the range of affordable models we need to make EV’s more accessible to everyday Australians,” said Solar Citizens National Director Heidi Lee Douglas.

“Australia just doesn’t have access to the same EVs that other countries do. With strong incentives factored in, the cheapest new EV in Europe is almost $20,000 cheaper than even the most affordable models in Australia. [1] The key way for us to increase the availability of affordable EVs is to implement strong Fuel Efficiency Standards like the rest of the world.

“While Australians are dealing with the triple whammy of a cost of living crisis, an energy crisis and the climate crisis, Fuel Efficiency Standards would bring a variety of EVs into the country of all different shapes, sizes and costs."

In their survey, Solar Citizens discovered that the price of petrol was the highest cost of living concern across all income brackets, and three-quarters of people interested in buying an EV indicated that they were moderately to extremely concerned about petrol costs. 

“The data is telling us that in the face of skyrocketing petrol prices Australians are ready to get in the driver’s seat of an electric car, but the price and availability are keeping them locked out. Mums like me around Australia are missing out on the cost of living savings of running an electric vehicle because there aren’t enough models and vehicles  to go around – this needs to change.

“Calculations we’ve been given from industry players also found that for solar owners, it costs between 60c and $1.82 per 100km to run an EV if you charge it in the middle of the day. Compare that with around $22 per 100km for a petrol car with today's outrageous fuel prices.

“Australia is the dumping ground for the world’s inefficient, dirty petrol cars. With rising fuel prices, this is directly hurting our hip pockets. People know that EVs are cheaper to run and safer for the climate and our health, but have been let down by successive Federal Governments that are lagging behind and limiting the flow of affordable EVs into the country – Fuel Efficiency Standards is a long overdue policy we need to unlock Australia’s EV revolution.” said Douglas.


Media Contact: Heidi Douglas (0401 092 570)

[1] The cheapest EV in Australia is currently the BYD Atto 3 SR, which is $44,381 with a $3000 rebate in some states, coming to $41,381. The cheapest EV in Europe is the Dacia Spring Electric, at €20,850 with a €5000 rebate in France, coming to approximately $23,037 AUD (Data accessed 12th August, 2022).