The number of electric vehicles in Australia has hit the 20,000 mark, with the market showing a definite upward turn as we near the end of 2020.
With the number of EV models available to Australians set to increase by another 50% in 2021, it’s time to take a moment to look at how the fledgling market is faring.
After tripling in 2019 as the Tesla Model 3 finally made it to Australia, the market slowed down somewhat 2020 as the pandemic affected shipping and car makers turned efforts to supply markets with vehicle emissions regulations.
In fact, Tesla now accounts for half of all electric vehicles in Australia, having hit its own milestone this month with 10,000 vehicles now shipped to our shores.
Taking the arrival of the the Tesla Model 3 in the second half of 2019 into account however, when several thousand were delivered in the final quarter to fill a three-year waiting queue or orders, the trend is undeniable: EVs are coming, and they are here to stay.
Based on sales data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Vfacts, the Electric Vehicle Council and using shipping data for Tesla (which does not report local sales to the FCAI) as well as estimates for other model sales as we wait for December’s Vfacts, we can see that EV sales are (at the very least very close to) hitting the 20,000 mark.
Electric vehicles by state
But where are all of these electric cars?
According to figures gathered by Budget Direct and Vfacts, New South Wales drivers own three in 10 electric cars in Australia, with around 6,400 EVs on the road. This means one EV is on the road for every 1,269 people.
Victoria has a little more than 5,800 EVs on the road – one for every 1,150 people.
The next greatest number of EVs are in Queensland, with around 3,400 on the road, which equates to one EV for every 1,526 people.
But you might be surprised to know that per capita, electric cars are the most common in the ACT and South Australia.
While EVs in the ACT account for just 4% of vehicles nationwide, there is one electric vehicle on the road for every 492 people.
In South Australia, where 11.5% of electric cars are registered, there is on EV for every 741 people.
In Western Australia, where there are about 1,400 electric vehicles, there is one for every 1,852 people in the population.
Tasmania sits at about 340 electric vehicles, or one for every 1,599 people, while in the Northern Territory there are about 40 electric cars, or one in 6,000 people.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.