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Surge in suburban EV sales could be cost driven; analysis

Costly commutes may be driving the surge of EV purchases in the suburbs but some elements of range anxiety may still exist in regional Australia, new figures indicate.

Analysis by the Electric Vehicle Council shows a shift in the uptake of EVs in outer suburban areas in the capital cities .

Inner metropolitan EV orders amounted to 38.95 per cent of sales but these are now outstripped by those placed in outer metropolitan suburbs 43.29 per cent.

The figures look at the sales of major brands Tesla and BYD sales figures over past year.

The lag in uptake in regional Australia continues with only 9.2 in regional areas and a 8.6 per cent of sales in rural areas where issues with range over longer distances and shortage of chargers may be a factor.

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Last month new vehicle sales showed EV’s reach a new record with nearly one in ten of all new cars sold. Across 2023 they made up 7.2 per cent of all new cars.

Electric cars are getting cheaper to purchase as more models come on the market but a considerable price gap still exists. The RACV has analysed their total purchase and running costs for those hoping to escape soaring petrol prices and found some models are more than 50 per cent cheaper to run.

It found as petrol approached $2 per litre that EV charging costs were between $85 and $101 per month depending on the model.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said the data was revealing about perceptions of EVs.

“I think some tired stereotypes about EVs in Australia will need to be updated,” Mr Jafari said.

“What this data tells us is that the average EV buyer lives in the suburbs and might well be keen to use the new car to take the kids camping on the weekend. They might even be thinking about towing a boat.

“Suburban EV buyers who are sensitive to the cost of living will be looking forward to no longer worrying about foreign oil spikes or costly regular repairs and services.

“This demographic shift represents a new reality that opponents of EVs will rapidly have to come to terms with. EVs are not novel – they are now a suburban, mainstream Australian reality and that trend is only set to continue.

“We’re seeing massive EV uptake in middle-income outer suburbs, including strong uptake across western Sydney. People residing even further away from the capital cities are also embracing electric cars – nearly 18 per cent of EV orders are being placed in regional and rural areas.”

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