The growth in sales of Electric Cars has been tremendous over recent years, in particular in 2022 with more models available and importantly far more supply thanks to mainly Tesla and new brand BYD. But as the Government pushes more green requirements onto us all – are they even pulling their weight? The latest data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) suggests not.

Electric cars are not cheap, but in 2022 we saw greater availability of EVs under $100,000 and even under $50,000 than ever before, and that’s sure to grow more and more as the years go on.

In just last year, Electric Cars grew to between 4-5% of all new cars sold, and that’s a tough call given our biggest markets the light commercial and family SUV market are yet to be truely catered for in the EV space.

FCAI CEO Tony Weber said “An essential part of the journey to a zero-emission light vehicle fleet is the implementation of an ambitious yet achievable fuel efficiency standard. All FCAI members are aligned on the need for an emissions target which considers consumers, the unique nature of the Australian market, product availability, affordability, and the full range of zero and low emission technologies,”

And that’s a spot on statement, but it’s the reference to “light vehicle fleet” that got me thinking. What is the Government doing?

By Government we mean Local, State and Federal – they’ve all got a role to play. Thanks to the FCAI “Zero and Low Emission Vehicle Report” we know just how well the Government is doing, and the answer is, not very well.

Here’s how I crunch the numbers.

In 2022, Private Vehicle owners purchased 580,495 cars. 4.23% of them were EVs. If you remove Light Commercial Vehicles from that count – as there aren’t any EVs in that space (Save for LDV which just isn’t a factor at this point), that jumps to 4.94% of sales were EV among the Mums and Dads of Australia.

Business registrations are another category of their own. Now these might be big corporates, but also your local tradie. They purchased 362,623 cars, of which EVs made up 2.24%, remove the light commercial element (which is 41% of all Business Sales) and the EV count jumps to 3.82%.

But while the Governments around Australia don’t buy any where near that many cars – you’d think their policy direction and constant banging on about the state of the climate and doing our bit – you’d think would lead to a strong EV take up.

Nope. Of all the vehicles sold to Government, just 1.79% were fully electric. Jumps to just 2.93% when you remove light commercial.

So average Aussies are doing the hard work for the Government, in fact, Average Aussies bought more Passenger and SUV’s that were electric than Governments bought in total across Petrol, Hybrid and Electric.

The only saving grace for the Green Credentials of Governments is that 21.14% of their purchases are Hybrid or Plug-In-Hybrid vehicles.

That number for Business and Private owners sits below 8%.

So come on Governments, let’s see you in some MG’s, BYD’s Polestars and Teslas.

For the record, in 2022, the top selling EVs and the numbers they sold were:

  1. Tesla Model 3 – 10,877
  2. Tesla Model Y – 8,717
  3. BYD Atto 3 – 2,113
  4. Polestar 2 – 1,524
  5. MG ZS EV – 1,119
  6. Hyundai Kona – 1,096
  7. Volvo XC40 – 983
  8. Hyundai Ioniq 5 – 756
  9. BMW iX3 MSport – 593
  10. Hyundai Ioniq – 580