Sales of electric vehicles in Australia declined last month for the second time since 2020 – and Tesla deliveries fell by a third – in a new-car market that recorded its first stumble after 14 months of consecutive growth.

However, demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has not fallen off a cliff, as viral footage claimed to show stockpiles of Teslas waiting at Australian ports unable to find buyers would suggest.

Data published yesterday shows 8.3 per cent of new vehicles reported as sold in June 2024 were electric, down from 8.8 per cent this time last year.

This is based on data published by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), as well as directly from Polestar – as the electric-car specialist no longer shares its data for the FCAI’s reports.

Deliveries fell by 10 per cent last month – in a new-car market down 3.9 per cent overall (including Polestar data) – and market leader Tesla recorded a 33.3 per cent decrease.

It is the second year-on-year decline in EV sales since 2020 – the other instance being a 3.6 per cent slide in April 2024 (again including Polestar numbers) – and the single largest electric-car sales reduction since August 2020.

However, industry analysts say the electric vehicle market has not collapsed, rather its growth has just slowed.

Research locally has shown there are still uncertainties among potential buyers over electric-car charging infrastructure, while there remains a gulf in EV purchase prices compared to equivalent petrol-powered vehicles.

Electric vehicle sales are still in positive territory for the first half of the year, up 18.1 per cent in a new-car market up 8.0 per cent.

But it is down from the record growth seen in 2022 and 2023, when electric-car sales were doubling or tripling each month compared to the same period the year prior.

“We need to be careful not to get caught up in monthly movements of EV sales as it is the trend that is important,” James Voortman, CEO of the Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA), told Drive.

“Yes, EV sales are down for the month, but for the first six months of the year they have outperformed the market by … double.”

June 2023 represents the all-time electric-car sales record, likely influenced by the cessation of EV purchase subsidies from the Victorian Government that generated a rush of buyers in their final days.

June is historically the biggest month for new-car sales – in the lead-up to the end of the financial year – and last month’s decline is a rare slip after 14 months of consecutive market growth.

Tesla is a key factor in the sales decline, as the US electric-car giant was down 33 per cent in June, after Model Y SUV sales nearly halved – and 9.6 per cent behind in its year-to-date tally compared to the first half of last year.

When Tesla is excluded, sales of electric vehicles from other brands grew by 30.6 per cent last month – or 58.7 per cent year-to-date (Polestar again included in the data).

Compared to the dip in electric-vehicle sales, demand for hybrids has surged, up 113 per cent year-to-date – and up 71 per cent for the month – led by Toyota.

Last June EV sales outpaced hybrids by 23 per cent; 12 months on, it is hybrid power that is 60 per cent ahead.

Plug-in hybrid vehicle sales are up 130 per cent year-to-date, albeit from a much lower base – and more electric vehicles were sold last month, than PHEVs since January 1.

“If you look at the remarkable performance of hybrid, plug-in hybrid vehicles and EVs for the first half of the year, it’s clear that there is a growing portion of buyers looking for a lower emissions vehicle,” Mr Voortman said.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.drive.com.au/news/electric-car-sales-fall-in-australia-june-2024/

SHARE THIS ARTICLE: