Costs driving the decision behind buying an electric vehicle

30 October, 2023

Almost half of South Australians are considering buying an EV as their next vehicle – with the cost of EVs the biggest factor preventing motorists from making the transition. 

The state’s peak motoring body has released a new RAA member survey into EV perception, with key findings including:

  • 43% of respondents would consider buying an EV as their next car
  • 68% of respondents would be willing to pay more for an EV compared to a similar petrol or diesel vehicle 
  • The greatest factors preventing people from buying an EV include:
    • 75% citing cost of the vehicle
    • 71% citing the lack of public charging infrastructure 
    • 70% citing ‘range anxiety’ 
    • 61% citing the rising cost of electricity/cost of charging
  • 47% of respondents wanted government to do more to encourage EV uptake, including lowering the cost of electricity, rebates for EV purchases, investment in charging infrastructure and tax incentives for EV purchases. 

RAA Chief Executive Officer Nick Reade said the survey results showed there was strong appetite from consumers and motorists to transition to EVs.

RAA CEO Nick Reade

“While more people are considering buying an EV as their next car, the results show we need to do more to educate South Australians about the benefits of EVs and dispel some of the common misconceptions and myths,” Mr Reade said. 

“With more than 805,000 members and being the state’s peak and most trusted motoring body, RAA has a key role to play in helping to educate and inform motorists about EVs.

“A lot of the concerns about EVs are around the cost and the misconception that they’re expensive to run. 

“While the cost of a new EV is higher than its internal combustion engine equivalent – we’re seeing that cost come down each year and it should reach parity in the not too distant future – especially as more EVs wash through to the second-hand market.  

“The running costs of an EV are much lower than the traditional petrol and diesel vehicles – from servicing through to fuel. 

“The average South Australian drives around 11,500kms per year and EVs are about 50% to 70% cheaper to run per kilometre than a petrol vehicle.

“That amounts to a saving of around $1,600 per year just on fuel – and with the recent spike in petrol prices to around $2.30 per litre – that means the savings will increase.”

In conjunction with the State Government, RAA is building RAA Charge – the state’s first border-to-border EV charging network which will put an end to ‘range anxiety’. 

“Aside from cost, the availability of charging infrastructure and ‘range anxiety’ were also major concerns preventing people from buying an EV,” Mr Reade said. 

“The RAA Charge network will have more than 500 plugs across 140 sites, with 98% located no more than 200km apart. 

“That means ‘range anxiety’ will be a thing of the past and there’ll be no shortage of EV charging infrastructure once we complete the rollout next year.”