Electric Vehicles FAQs

We answer the frequently asked questions about electric vehicles and how they will impact the future of transportation in Australia.

Electric vehicles are the inevitable future of motoring, but that’s not just because governments and manufacturers say so. There are many tangible benefits to EV ownership that are already impressive. And, just as combustion engine technology has improved over the years with mileage and reliability, these EV benefits will continue to increase as the technology is further adopted and refined.

Already, modern electric vehicles cost around 70% less to run than comparable petrol and diesel cars. On top of that, with less moving parts and fluid requirements, they are proving to be around 40% cheaper to maintain, and the evidence suggests that they will be more reliable for longer. You can have a look at the total cost of ownership here.

Plus, with a considerable reduction in emissions, they are better in the long run not just for the environment, but for our health and wellbeing.

In 2019, electric vehicle sales tripled from the previous year to 6,718. So far in 2020, electric vehicle sales are proving strong even through COVID-19, with 3,226 EVs sold in the first half of the year despite a 20% reduction in overall car sales. There are now 28 EV models for sale in Australia.

In Australia, Hybrids or HEVs start around $26,500 plus on-road costs, with Plug-in hybrids or PHEVs starting around $42,500 plus on-road costs. Currently, full battery EVs start at around $47,500 plus on road costs, however they require no liquid fuel as they are powered exclusively by electricity. While EVs are currently more expensive to purchase than their combustion engine equivalents, projections show that purchase price parity could be achieved by around 2024.

The world’s major automotive manufacturers are investing more than $100 billion to support the transition away from liquid fuel cars to low or zero-emission vehicles.

Many brands have openly discussed the end of petrol and diesel, including Volvo, Mercedes and The Volkswagen Group – the world’s largest car manufacturer. Volvo has already ceased the sale of petrol-only cars, and Mercedes has now stopped development of petrol and diesel engines, switching focus and investment to electric.

Even General Motors, well known for their American muscle cars, see a fully electric future, with the development of new electric vehicle architecture to underpin future electric models. Toyota, Australia’s largest car supplier, expects more than half of its sales to be electric by 2025.

Several countries are moving to ban fuel-based cars, including the Netherlands (by 2025), Norway (2025), France (2040), the UK (2040), India (2030), Germany (2030), and China (2040).

China, the world’s largest car market, is leading the boom in electric vehicles with 140 battery makers, electric vehicle production quotas and a requirement that all Chinese car manufacturers produce an electric vehicle by 2019.

Australia has a low uptake of electric vehicles compared with our global counterparts. The inevitable transition to electric vehicles requires Australian governments to demonstrate support for the adoption and availability of all electric vehicles for all Australians.

 

  • To support electric vehicle uptake, a rollout of charging infrastructure should be prioritised - Consumers are unlikely to commit to the mass uptake of electric vehicles until they can be confident that access to adequate charging opportunities exist. Investment in widespread charging infrastructure should be prioritised to encourage electric vehicle uptake, especially in rural and regional areas.
  • The Australian Government should remove impediments to electric vehicle purchasing - The Australian Government should provide a short-term exemption to Fringe Benefits Tax and abolish the Luxury Car Tax for electric vehicles.
  • Prioritise domestic electricity generation – To improve fuel security, the Australian Government should prioritise domestic electricity generation.
  • Australian governments should encourage research and development in electric vehicle batteries and other technologies to support the transition to an electric vehicle future.
  • An inter-governmental working group to co-ordinate the transition to electric road transport should be established. Governments should lead the way by adopting electric vehicle fleet targets.

NRMA Social Dividend Investment Strategy

As a mutual, we exist to add value to Members and the community. After a strong financial performance in 2016-17, the Board wanted to return value to the community, and our Social Dividend Investment Strategy was born.

The Social Dividend Investment Strategy guides how we will invest our strong returns in ways that benefit the community, as well as increase the relevance and value of our offering to our Members. We are in a unique position to help communities become more sustainable, make mobility safer for the community and improve transport access for everyone.

The NRMA exists to support its Members and the community, and we are committed to continually delivering on our foundational purpose – to keep people moving.

We are leading the national debate on Electric Vehicles (EVs) because we know it is the right thing to do, but we also acknowledge that the community has mixed views. After all, the Internal Combustion Engine motor car has been something of a birth-right in Australia for around a century and the NRMA has been there to help families since that journey began.

But the reality is the world is changing. Technology is progressing quickly and there are increasing external pressures on transport and road networks across the world. With all major manufacturers investing heavily in electric technology and many countries and cities around the world planning to phase out combustion-engine vehicles entirely, EVs are the inevitable future of motoring. We want to make sure that communities are not only ready for that, but ready to reap the benefits.

To learn more about why the NRMA supports EVs, click here.

Electric Vehicle Charger Network implementation

The NRMA has established Australia’s largest regional electric vehicle fast-charging network, suitable for a range of electric vehicles and currently free for NRMA Members – helping to lower the overall cost of owning and operating an electric vehicle. More than 95 per cent of our Members' road trips are covered by the network.

We’ve installed over 40 EV fast chargers across regional NSW along most major highways including the Hume, Newell, Sturt and Oxley Highways, as well as the Mitchell, Pacific, Olympic and Great Western Highways. Now, we’ve partnered with Transport for New South Wales to help deliver at least 20 additional electric vehicle fast chargers in regional locations, meaning EV motorists will be able to confidently tour the entirety of NSW and ACT knowing they’ll always be in range of a charger.

We already have the largest regional EV fast charging network in Australia, with over 40 fast chargers across most major NSW highways including the Hume, Newell, Sturt and Oxley Highways, as well as the Mitchell, Pacific, Olympic and Great Western Highways. Now, we’ve partnered with Transport for New South Wales to help deliver at least 20 additional chargers in regional locations. This work is currently due to be completed in 2022.

We’ve already installed fast chargers across regional NSW along most major highways including the Hume, Newell, Sturt and Oxley Highways, as well as the Mitchell, Pacific, Olympic and Great Western Highways. As we continue to expand, EV motorists will be able to confidently tour the entirety of NSW and ACT.