Australians purchased 2,216 electric vehicles in 2018, a drop of 3% from the 2,284 models sold in the previous year. In the latter part of 2018, Australia’s electric vehicle market saw an overall decrease in annual sales, however, this reflects the contraction in the market of all new vehicle sales.
More recent figures show much more positive growth with 90% more electric vehicles sold in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. That was despite national vehicle sales falling 8.4% in the same timeframe. With model availability increasing, particularly in the sub-$60,000 segment, the stage is set for strong growth throughout the rest of 2019 and into 2020.
Business fleets continued to be the largest buyer of electric vehicles in 2018, accounting for 63% of total sales. Private purchases made up a significant 33% of sales, with government fleets buying only 4%. The low level of government uptake is particularly concerning given the poor performance of vehicle fuel efficiency in government fleets compared to private and business vehicles. Government electric vehicle fleet targets – such as the 10% target in NSW – should result in growth in this segment in future years.