Sydney’s affluent northern beaches, leafy inner-suburbs and second CBD, Parramatta, have the highest uptake of electric vehicles in NSW, while in Victoria, the Toorak tractors of the moneyed inner-east are on the out.

Residents of Greater Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay are also going electric faster than the rest of the country, although outside the metropolitan regions, Queenslanders are lagging.

The number of electric cars on the nation’s roads doubled last year and tripled in some suburbs, as buyers made the carbon-conscious switch, and the trend continued this year as global supply chain pressures eased.

One in five light vehicles sold in the ACT in the three months to June 30 was electric, while the rates were 8.7 per cent and 9.7 per cent in NSW and Victoria respectively, according to the Australian Automobile Association.

Slightly more than 8 per cent of new cars sold – or about 46,000 – in the first half of 2023 were EVs – a 120-per-cent increase on the whole of last year.

Illustrating the soaring demand, quarter-on-quarter growth was 21 per cent in NSW (7745 EVs sold over the three months), a huge 117 per cent in Victoria (7875 EVs), and 23 per cent in Queensland (895 EVs).

But although demand is heading in the right direction, the overall number of EVs registered remains a minuscule fraction of what will be needed for Australia to hit key emissions-reduction targets in the years ahead.

The highest penetration is in Canberra, where about 1 per cent of registered light vehicles are battery EVs and a further 3 per cent are either hybrid or plug-in hybrid, compared to about 96 per cent powered by petrol or diesel.

EV penetration was 0.41 per cent in NSW, followed by 0.39 per cent in Victoria, and 0.37 per cent in Queensland, as at January 31, 2023.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said although Australia had made a great start, there was still a long way to go to catch up to the rest of the world.

“Of course, an increase in fleet EV sales now flows through to the second-hand market in a few years time, which will be a big boost for EV affordability,” Mr Bowen told The Australian Financial Review.

The government’s recent electric vehicle tax cut, which removes the fringe benefit tax on electric vehicles leased under salary sacrifice arrangements, will also help build the affordable second-hand market in coming years.

But the Electric Vehicle Council says while there are now 91 electric vehicles, van and ute models now in sale in Australia, the vast majority of EV sales about 68 per cent – were the Tesla Models Y and 3 and the BYD Atto 32.

“This is a consequence of Australia not having a new vehicle efficiency standard to ensure car manufacturers increase the supply of EVs to our country,” according to the Council’s latest report on the market.

Labor in April announced its support for an emissions standard without giving a concrete timeline on when it would take effect or how aggressively the limits would be set.

Instead of announcing a hard target or start date, Labor announced it would hold a second review into the policy in eight months, with a view to introducing legislation late this year or in 2024.

Extracted in full from: Electric cars: which suburbs in Australia have highest EV numbers? (