A third of Australians think hybrid electric vehicles are the most viable option for the country.
More than a third of all respondents don’t believe changing from petrol to electric would have a measurable impact on the environment.
The price of an electric vehicle is the biggest concern for 79% of Australians.
A large majority of Australians don’t think the country’s current infrastructure grid would support the roll out of electric vehicles.
1.0 Overview of Electric Car Statistics in Australia
It’s no secret that electric vehicles are on their way to becoming the transport of the future, especially with an annual increase of 86% in new electric vehicles purchased in 2022 alone. 
But despite there being 40,000 registered electric vehicles on Australian roads as of January 2022, the low-emissions alternative still only makes up 0.2% of the country’s total vehicle fleet of 20.7 million. 
Meanwhile, hybrid electric vehicles are becoming more common with 277,000 registered as of January 2022.
Motorists have a range of options available in Australia with Tesla being the most popular by far with more than 22,000 registered vehicles as of 2022. 
Hyundai, Nissan, MG, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Porsche, Toyota, MINI and BMW all also offer electric alternatives.
Despite the range available, Australians can still be reluctant to choose an electric vehicle over petrol.
We surveyed 1000 Australians aged 18+ through Pure Profile and compared the findings to Budget Direct’s Electric Car Survey 2018, to better understand these doubts and gauge where the country stands on the electric vehicle roll out.
2.0 Electric Car Survey Results
Which type of electric vehicle technology do you think is the most viable for Australia?
Australians are more educated today about electric vehicles than they were five years ago.
This year, one in three said hybrid electric vehicles would be the most viable for Australia, compared to the same survey conducted by Budget Direct in 2018 where the majority of Australians said they were unsure about any of the options.
Do you believe switching from a petrol to an electric vehicle will have a measurable effect on the environment?
While studies have found that a 100% shift to electric vehicles would eliminate at least 6% of Australia's greenhouse emissions, many Australians aren’t convinced. 
More than a third of those surveyed said they didn’t believe switching from petrol to electric vehicles would have a measurable effect on the environment.
Do you think the Australian Government has offered enough information on how the roll out of electric cars will be sustainable in our country?
The majority of respondents felt the Australian Government hadn’t done enough to prepare the country and educate the public in the lead-up to the roll out of electric vehicles.
Confidence in the government’s level of transparency also halved in the past five years with 12% of respondents this year saying there was enough information provided on electric vehicles, compared to 24.5% in 2018.
Do you think Australia’s current electricity grid infrastructure could support an influx of electric vehicles?
The majority of Australians don’t think the country’s current electricity grid would support the influx of electric vehicles.
Australia has approximately 3,500 public charging stations around the country, with only 16% being fast charging. 
Government bodies are now working to implement a network of fast charging stations on or near the national highway network to provide more connectivity, hopefully within the next five years.
In your opinion, what are the biggest hurdles for the uptake of electric vehicles in Australia?*
*Participants were able to select all options that applied to them. Percentages may not add to 100%.
More Australians are pinpointing potential issues for the uptake of electric vehicles now than they were five years ago.
Fifty-eight per cent of respondents said infrastructure will be the biggest hurdle when rolling out electric vehicles across the country, which is up from 48.6% in 2018.
Other issues, including range anxiety, reliability, serviceability and the Government’s reliance on fossil fuel tax, have all also spiked in the past five years.
Meanwhile, fewer people think the roll out will go entirely smoothly with the percentage of people saying none of those issues would impact uptake dropping by more than half from 13.6% to 6% in five years.
What concerns do you have about electric vehicles?*
*Participants were able to select all options that applied to them, except for “Never”, which was mutually exclusive. Percentages may not add to 100%.
Price was overwhelmingly the biggest concern for Australians when considering the future of electric vehicles with 73% saying they were worried about upfront costs.
This is up significantly from 2018 when less than half of those surveyed considered the price of electric cars a big concern, and instead finding where to charge the vehicle topped the list.
This year, battery life was the second biggest concern, according to 69% of respondents.
Do you think it would be fair to pay more for electricity due to an increase in electric vehicles, even if you don't own one?
The overwhelming majority said they didn’t think it was fair to pay more for electricity, due to an increase in electric vehicles, especially if they didn’t own one.
Meanwhile, the number of respondents who would pay more for electricity has dropped in the past five years with the 2018 survey finding almost one in five would be prepared to fork out more even if they didn’t own an electric car.
Would a rebate on the purchase price of an electric vehicle make you more likely to purchase one?
Australians have become less enticed by potential rebates on their electric vehicle buys in the past five years, with just 60% saying they would be more convinced to buy an electric vehicle if there was a rebate available.
This is compared to the previous survey where nearly three-quarters of respondents said they would be more likely to buy one if there was a rebate.
Currently, $3,000 rebates are available in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria for a limited time with a capped number of cars. Meanwhile, the Australian Capital Territory offers interest-free loans of up to $15,000 for the purchase of a new electric vehicle.
Would you purchase an electric vehicle if it was the same price as a petrol alternative?
Almost two-thirds of those who were surveyed said they would be more likely to buy an electric vehicle if it was the same price as a petrol alternative, proving that price is a major factor for most motorists.
While it might be cheaper in the long run with many electrical vehicle owners reporting savings of up to $2,000 a year on fuel, many Australians are more concerned about the immediate upfront costs they’ll face when getting a new car. 
Currently, a brand-new petrol car can be purchased for under $19,000, while an electric vehicle could cost between $40,000 and $50,000 at a minimum. 
For how much longer do you think you will be driving a petrol vehicle?
The majority of respondents believed they wouldn’t make the switch to electric for the next five to ten years, while one in five said they would stick to their petrol cars for the rest of their lives.
But the latter group might be in for a surprise with studies predicting electric vehicles will account for half of all new car purchases in Australia by 2030. 
3.0 Key Findings
Education about electric vehicles in Australia is growing, but it needs a government boost.
While steps have been taken towards building the national charging network and cost incentives are available on both a federal and state level, the survey results suggest that motorists still feel left in the dark.
Aussies are asking for more transparency, improved infrastructure and cheaper upfront costs before the world of electric vehicles can kick off and take over.