Australia’s desperate need for more reliable fast-chargers as EV numbers jump
By Sourced Externally
February 8, 2023
The Australia Electric Vehicle Council has released its 2022 recap showing huge growth in EV market share last year, and pointed to the need for a big increase in public fast-charging infrastructure to support the rapid growth of EVs that is expected to continue in 2023.
The report notes that Australia’s charging network of public charging stations grew by 45 per cent in 2022, but much more needs to be done.
“This is a step in the right direction, however, further effort is still required to meet the demand of the ever expanding local EV fleet,” it says.
“Specifically, work is needed to ensure that reliable, multi-bay ultrafast charging sites are deployed,” for drivers travelling into regional areas, and for those living in urban areas who cannot charge at home.
The reference to reliability is an important one. Apart from the well-established Tesla fleet of supercharging stations, many other fast charging outlets have been riddled with reliability issues, power limits and lack of spare parts.
The EVC singles out NSW as stepping in the right direction with its planned roll-out of fast chargers.
Most new government funded fast charging stations now insist on multiple bays and more power to reduce the problems facing many drivers in peak periods.
On sales for 2022, the EVC’s top-line numbers, which surprisingly include fossil fuel powered plug in hybrid vehicles, show that 39,353 battery electric and hybrid vehicles were sold in Australia in 2022, making up 3.8% of total new car sales. EV and hybrid market share was up 86% on 2021’s figure of 2.05%
The EVC also reports that there are now 83,000 EVs and fossil fuelled plug in hybrids on Australia’s roads.
With hybrids stripped out, the EVC’s numbers closely align with The Driven’s recently reported figure of over 72,500 fully electric BEVs now on Australian roads.
(Unless the Electric Vehicle Council wants to change its name to the “Electric Vehicle and Hybrid Council”, it should drop polluting hybrids from its data on EVs. Other countries like Germany have done this and dumped hybrids from their electric vehicle reporting data).
Good growth nationwide off a low base
Despite the inclusion of hybrids, the EVC provides excellent data and analysis of the Australian EV market. The EVC report shows the unstoppable exponential growth in battery electric vehicles in Australia.
Despite 2023 starting from a low base compared to other countries, BEV market share in Australia is set to soar in coming years if it continues to almost double annually, as it has done for the past two years.
The state by state numbers show that while all states saw EV and hybrid market share grow in 2022, ACT is the clear standout with EV and hybrid sales almost doubling to 10% of all new cars sold.
Despite the promising growth numbers, Electric Vehicle Council Chief Executive Behyad Jafari warned there was no room for complacency.
“If you think you’re seeing more EVs on the road than you used to, you’re right, but if we want to hit our national emissions targets we won’t make it on this current trajectory,” Mr Jafari said.
“To achieve the federal government’s emission target we’ll need a near fully zero-emission vehicle fleet by 2050. To stay on track that means reaching 1 million EVs by 2027 and around 3 million by 2030.
With over 20 million vehicles currently registered in Australia, 3 million EVs by 2030 would account for around 15% of the nation’s total fleet. According to the report that figure is currently just 0.5%
For context EVs have recently passed 20% of the Norwegian fleet where fully electric vehicles now make up over 80% of all new cars sold.
2022 saw policy improvements but still a long way to go
The EVC’s report heavily stresses the importance of ambitious fuel efficiency standards. It says the absence of fuel efficiency standards is the main reason why only a fraction of EV models are currently available in Australia.
“We can definitely hit these goals, but not without an ambitious fuel efficiency standard to expand the supply of EVs to Australia. The federal government should introduce this standard this year as a matter of urgency,” Jafari.
“Australians are early adaptors by nature, we care about our environment, and we don’t want to rely on foreign oil. There is no reason for us to continue to lag the world on EV take up.”
“The enthusiasm is there in abundance, we just need our governments to continue the policy reform that makes it easy to transition away from the exhaust pipe.”