Industry experts say electric cars sales figures could be higher if the government stops delaying fuel efficiency standards


Sales of electric vehicles in Australia have more than doubled this year compared to 2022 but industry experts say the figure could be even higher had the government introduced long-promised fuel efficiency standards.

The year-to-date sales of battery electric vehicles (EVs) have hit 80,446 compared to 28,326 for the same period last year, an increase of 185%, according to figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. EVs made up 7.2% of all motor vehicle sales so far this year.

The number of electric vehicles sold in Australia in 2022 compared to 2023.

“We were hopeful it would be high but this is at the top end of our expectations,” the chamber’s chief executive, Tony Weber, said on Tuesday.

Behyad Jafari, the Electric Vehicle Council’s chief executive, said 2023 was the third year in a row that electric car sales had more than doubled from the previous 12 months as supply started to keep pace with demand.

Australians have also had access to cheaper models under $40,000.

But Jafari said the supply coming into Australia was still hampered by the fact the government had not yet legislated a fuel efficiency standard which would cap emissions across a manufacturer’s overall sales and provide an incentive for carmakers to sell low- and zero-emissions vehicles and penalise those that don’t.

The federal government in August revealed the introduction of a fuel efficiency standard had been “overwhelmingly” supported through public consultation. The government said it would complete an impact analysis and release details of its preferred model for a standard “before the end of this year”.

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