Electric Vehicles in Australia Buying Guide

Buy an Electric Vehicle in Australia: All you need to know
March 29, 2023

Introduction of battery electric vehicles in Australia

As most of the smog in the atmosphere comes from vehicles in the city, the internal combustion engine, and tailpipe emissions, the government is executing its ambition of a green transition.

In 2022, Australia's government showed, through its budget, that climate change is an important concern.

Building on their plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, New South Wales or NSW has already introduced funding for a battery electric vehicle.

With over 20 million vehicles on the roads today, the goal is to create a more eco-friendly country.

The journey won't be easy though, of these millions of private vehicles, only 3,4% run on electricity alone.

The promise is to make the city quieter, improve air quality, cut costs on energy consumption, and say goodbye to the internal combustion engine.

3 tips you need to know if you're going to buy an Electric vehicle

An electric vehicle in Australia is not cheap! With costs starting from $ 41,000 for the ZS EV.

For comparison, the price of the ZS Essence, which is the petrol powered version of two variants, is $26,490.

Higher-end models exist and go way beyond these figures, costing up to half a million.

We'll leave such high-end supercars on the side as they constitute a market of their own and if you're looking at those, you're probably looking at petrol-based supercars too.

One central aspect of electric cars is their range: how far they can travel on a full charge.

This is both linked to their total capacity: how much charge they can hold, and their power consumption: how much electricity the vehicle uses up to travel 100km.

These stats come in all shapes and sizes, but to help you make a decision, keep in mind that if you're looking to save on costs, try and aim for lower power consumption.

Also, if you don't plan to charge your car often, try and look for a vehicle with a higher maximum range.

If you're simply looking for a vehicle that can drive you around the city, you'll have more flexibility in your choices.

If you're looking to move between cities or make longer travels, definitely aim for a better range as it should be the sweet spot.

What rebates can I get for buying an electric car in Australia?

In an attempt to phase out petrol car buyers and provide an increased value to electric vehicles, the Australian government has announced a short-term rebate to encourage more drivers to make the switch.

When registering a new electric car, drivers can now qualify for a rebate on their electric car.

The first 25,000 fully electric vehicles sold under $68,750 are eligible for a $3000 rebate.

The government also aims at phasing out stamp duty for electric vehicle purchases.

The NSW Government will remove stamp duty from EVs under $78,000 purchased from 1 September 2021 and from all other EVs and plug-in hybrids from 1 July 2027 or when EVs make up at least 30% of new car sales, at which time a road user charge will also be introduced.

To further push the Australian market to use an electric car, EV drivers should now be able to use T2 and T3 transit lanes

What can I expect from my electric vehicle

Average electric vehicles have a driving range of 350 Km on a single charge.

An electric medium SUV can get you closer to 500Km on a single charge.

Both will get you from Sydney to Canberra without having to stop and charge.

But none of the two will get you from Canberra to Melbourne (650Km) in one trip.

You'll have to stop on the road to charge your vehicle.

Rest assured, if you really need the driving range, a large SUV or other long distance models have that driving range.

How much can I save when making the switch?

Some quick mathematics will make you realize the major benefit of switching to an electric vehicle.

  • The average annual distance driven per car is roughly 12,000 Km. Source
  • The average petrol price per liter is AUD$1,7 Source
  • The average energy tariff rate is 21,69 cents/KWh  Source

Let's compare a classic electric Hyundai Ioniq (11,7 KWh/100km) to a combustion engine-based car like the Hyundai Avante (6,7 liters/100Km).

We get a total expense of around AUD$304 for the energy costs of the electric vehicle, whereas we spend more than AUD$1367 for the petrol based car.

This leads us to an AUD$ 1000 energy saving, which is a big change.

Keep in mind, the more you drive, the bigger that gap is going to be.

You might think EV ownership requires a lot of maintenance as EV technology is more recent and might be less stable.

On the contrary, because these vehicles run cleaner than petrol cars, maintenance costs are also supposed to be lower.

This is expected as the combustion engine revolves around exploding fuel to make the wheels turn, this leaves residues and great physical force.

In simple terms, there's less wear and tear which leads to fewer issues.

Charging electric cars in Australia

EV charging is a central question behind EV adoption.

As every EV model needs stations and EV chargers, the global adoption of such vehicles relies heavily on the overall electrical installations.

If the global number of charging points isn't quite there yet, there's still some good news.

The NSW government has come up with a $200 million plan to ensure widespread, world class EV charging coverage.

Of these $200 million, $149 million are being invested in fast charging capabilities.

At present, only 3000 charging points are available, with each charging station being able to charge only one car at a time.

The plan is to have a network of fast chargers every 100 Km across the NSW state and every 5 Km in metropolitan areas.

These numbers and figures only display public charging infrastructure, if you have the resources, you could install your own private charging station.

Some manufacturers include the price of the charging station in the vehicle's sale price.

Smart charging capability

Charging a vehicle takes time and can be challenging on different points.

As the vehicles have very large batteries, charging can take up a lot of time.

The most frequent thing people do is to let their cars charge overnight.

While this is perfectly functional, smart chargers now optimize charging to profit from the electrical grid's benefits.

If energy is cheap at a certain time, the charger will pump out more power, if it gets more expensive, the charger will choose to use less power.

This ultimately helps you save on charging costs while ensuring your car is charged when you need it.

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