At least eight new electric vehicle models will hit Australian shores in 2020, opening up further choice for drivers wanting to reduce private transport emissions or simply have the latest in automotive technology.
New models are slated to arrive in 2020 from Audi, Porsche, Volvo and Polestar, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Mini and a new player on the local scene, EV Automotive. It will see more electric vehicles (EVs) on local roads in a country that is still lagging behind the global shift to zero emissions transport.
This year has seen a big increase in the number of new passenger EVs available in Australia, including the Hyundai Kona Electric and the upgraded 38.3kWh Ioniq, the Tesla Model 3, and the 40kWh Nissan Leaf.
Australian drivers purchased just 2,216 electric vehicles in 2018 compared to 2,284 in 2017. But those numbers may have doubled in 2019 – thanks largely to the Tesla Model 3 which is believed to now number in the low thousands – and this means the local EV market is now on a significant upturn.
“It’s going to be a great year for consumers in the EV field because we’re seeing a lot of legacy makers bringing EVs to the Australian market,” CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council Behyad Jafari tells The Driven.
“It means people who are loyal to brands will see something they are familiar with.”
With no local car manufacturing industry to defy a clear transition to electric mobility led overseas by carbon reduction policies, the shift is inevitable in Australia also. (And if readership on The Driven website is anything to go by, with nearly 5 million page views for the year and more than two million visitors, there is plenty of interest).
“Every year the progress continues to fall in one direction, which is that the entire industry – car makers, energy providers and countries – are moving to electric vehicles and they’re starting to do it in Australia now too,” Jafari says.
The increase in awareness of electric vehicles is having another knock-on effect, namely that people are increasingly looking to EVs as the latest technology, not just a zero-emissions form of transport. Many will be watching to see what, if anything, comes out of the federal government’s promised EV strategy, due in 2020.
“When you look at some of the brands that are coming, some people are saying ‘I want a high-performance car because that’s the latest tech, and I don’t want to throw good money at old tech,” says Jafari.
“This is now moving towards a market of people saying they want the best vehicle and I know that’s an electric one.”
The broader Australian car market is in a 20 month decline, according to figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), reportedly due to low consumer confidence.
But Jafari backs up recent research from market analysis firm Roy Morgan, saying that at least in part this decline can be attributed to wanting to buy electric vehicles rather than buy old fossil-fuelled technology.
“We’ve certainly seen anecdotally that people are holding off waiting for something in their range,” Jafari says.
“Fascinatingly people are waiting, concerned about how to sell a petrol vehicle in five years time. Who will buy a petrol vehicle when every other car is electric?”
Electric cars, while they might be the future, are in no way currently a cheap investment. That being said, if your finances are looking up and you’re hoping to make more of a mark on your personal carbon footprint, there are plenty of electric cars available for purchase in Australia.
As with most big investments, it always helps to browse the market and look at a range of different electric vehicles. If you’re looking for something new and advanced in 2020, The Driven has you covered with this list of 8 new electric cars coming to our shores, ranging from the luxurious and expensive to reliable and affordable.
Alternatively, there are a number of high-quality electric vehicles available in Australia right now that you can get your hands on. CarsGuide has written up a very handy list of their top 12 selections here.
As with most big purchases, it’s never a bad idea to get financial advice to ensure that your investment doesn’t become a regret financially.