While Australia is one of the top polluters in the world, especially when considered per capita that’s not to say that they won’t purchase electric cars because they don’t care about the environment. They do but they care more about making sure they get where they’re going and getting a good price at the bowser.
Official sales figures show that in Australia only 219 electric cars were sold last year. That’s 0.0018 per cent of the total market. While the figure is staggering it’s important to note that electric car sales in the country weren’t always so bad. In fact it’s a 90 per cent drop in sales from the previous year. Electric cars are so unpopular in Australia that Nissan and Mitsubishi have actually stopped stocking their electric hatchbacks, the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi iMiev. They weren’t selling even after the companies dramatically slashed their prices.
Australian’s Prefer Hybrids
While sales show that Australian’s hate electric only vehicles, consumers are continuing to embrace the more conventional hybrid cars because they can switch to petrol when they run out of battery power. Not only do Aussie’s prefer hybrids because they switch between petrol and electricity, unlike electric only cars, Australian’s know and trust hybrids. Hybrids have been on Aussie roads for well over 10 years. They use petrol as their sole external energy source but are supplemented with electric energy obtained from the braking system and stored in batteries. Because of the way hybrids work and the energy obtained from the braking system, they’re a favourite for taxi companies. Hybrid cars such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid are often used among taxi fleets because they are so miserly to run in stop-start city traffic.
In fact, Australian’s love hybrid cars so much that it has significantly diminished sales of LPG cars, which was previously the preferred fuel for taxis. Only 612 LPG cars were sold last year in the country. Again, another substantial drop at 70 per cent when compared to the 12,000 hybrid cars sold in the same year.
Australian’s Hungry for Diesel
While the sale of hybrid cars in Australia is on the increase, it’s important to note that while Aussie’s are transitioning to more eco-friendly and economically sensible cars, they’re still hungry for diesel. More than 363,000 diesel vehicles were sold in the country in 2016. At an increase of 8.6 per cent, Aussie’s love for diesel doesn’t look like it will be diminishing in favour of more eco-friendly options any time soon.
Stalling Sales of Cleaner Cars
While the Australian Government wants to mandate cleaner cars, the car industry reportedly cannot introduce the latest clean tailpipe technology in Australia due to the country’s low quality fuel. The regular unleaded fuel sold in Australia is allowed to contain 150 parts per million of sulphur, whereas fuel in the US, Europe and Japan cannot contain more than 10 parts per million of sulphur. That’s quite a substantial difference. While the petrol lobby argues it can improve the quality of Australia’s fuel, it will come at a cost to consumers.