Posted by: Caféstudy
1st Sep 2022 11:59am
It's a known fact that Australia has been slow in its uptake of electric vehicles, compared to much of the rest of the world. While nearly 1 in 4 new car sales in Europe this year are plug in vehicles, the percentage of new car sales in Australia that are fully electric is just 2%.
We asked Cafestudy members for their views on EVs; if you have considered jumping on the bandwagon yet, and if so, what might make you switch from thinking about it, to actually buying one.
Unsurprisingly given the low uptake of EVs in Australia, there are a high number of concerns from our Cafestudy members, the main one being the cost.
"The Aussie price for any PHEV or electric vehicle is ridiculous. Without government incentives, they are just a toy for the wealthy"
"I have read a lot about these vehicles, but they are just too expensive for me at this stage."
"The initial cost to buy an electric car already makes it difficult investing upfront"
The second big concern is the availability of charging stations, in particular for those in regional areas. Even in our cities, many people are unsure about where to charge vehicles, and how long it might take. It’s thought to be inconvenient and time consuming in comparison to visiting a petrol station for a quick fill up.
"I believe they do have a place for those living in the city who only do small trips, however Australia is a huge country and I don’t think that we are equipped yet to deal with this form of transport."
"As I live in a regional area, electric cars are not really an option for me as there are not enough charging stations."
"It seems so time consuming having to charge the battery, compared to the 2 minutes it takes me to fill my tank of petrol"
However, for the few who have already taken the leap into EVs via hybrid models, they are convinced of the benefits!
"I am already driving a hybrid and have first-hand experience with the benefits of going fully electric and just waiting to purchase one when my preferred model arrives at our shore. I believe the benefits outweight the cost."
"Overall, love driving my hybrid – she does run almost silent"
"I recently bought a hybrid electric car. It's saving me a lot in petrol and servicing costs"
For most people who have yet to convert, there is a lot of confusion around the practicalities of electric cars.
"Are they efficient in strength, and are the costs more expensive if a mechanical part fails, needs replacing?"
"What happens if the car suddenly stops because the batteries are flat? Can you open the windows and doors?"
"What would happen if you are stuck in a major traffic jam, would all the electric cars stop working?"
As well as a substantial number who are not even convinced of the benefits to the environment.
"I think many folk see electric cars as the bees-knees. They usually give no thought to the amount of power/energy needed to just make one."
"I think it's great we are going to a more sustainable future however the items used in production don't and can't break down which poses an issue in 10+ year's time, which worries me."
"What happens to all the batteries when they get old!"
So given the significant barriers and conflicting information, it's perhaps not surprising that most people are not yet ready to make the switch. Even when electric vehicles start to become more accessible financially, if we want to catch up with rates of usage in other countries around the world, it's clear that more work is needed in providing clear and consistent information to educate Australians about the clear facts and practicalities of using electric vehicles, and how it can benefit them and the environment.