Record petrol price drives surge in EV interest

19 June, 2022

A majority of motorists are considering buying an electric vehicle (EV) when purchasing their next car, an RAA survey has revealed.

The survey of drivers shows 62% would consider an EV as their next car purchase – a significant increase compared to the 42% of members who made the same claim in a survey held in May 2020.

This latest survey of more than 1500 members also found 74% were concerned about rising fuel prices and many were seeking alternative transport to cut their fuel bills.

Adelaide petrol prices hit a record peak this week of 229.9c per litre and RAA fuel expert Mark Borlace said it was no surprise motorists were looking at EVs to reduce their car running costs.

“Fuel costs are the biggest energy bills facing households with two cars and this could only get worse once the 24.3 cents per litre cut to the fuel excise is reinstalled at the end of September,’’ Mr Borlace said.

“Our survey shows almost half of respondents (48%) are looking to drive less often, 34 per cent are avoiding long trips and 32 per cent are looking at alternative means of getting around, such as walking and catching public transport.’’

Mr Borlace said the survey also revealed three quarters of respondents were concerned about climate change, and this was another factor driving interest in EVs.

“There was an ardent desire among those surveyed – 71 per cent – to reduce their own transport emissions and purchasing an EV is one way of achieving that,’’ he said.

“EVs produce around 50 per cent less pollution than petrol vehicles in South Australia.

“This technology is especially effective in SA, as we produce the greenest electricity on mainland Australia through the extensive generation of solar and wind power.’’

The survey shows the top factors which discouraged respondents from purchasing an EV were the purchase cost (65%) and a lack of accessibility to charging equipment (57%).

Of those surveyed, 70% said governments should place a higher priority on electric vehicle policies because of the fuel price increases.

The survey showed the most supported government actions were to subsidise the cost of purchasing an EV (67%), subsidising the cost of installing home charging infrastructure (64%), discounting EV registration and stamp duty charges (59%) and providing more public charging infrastructure (51%).

RAA is well advanced in site scoping works for South Australia’s public electric vehicle charging network, which will connect EV owners to all regions of SA and the rest of the nation.

The rollout of South Australia’s 536 public charging points at 140 sites across the State is expected to commence later this year and finish by January 2024.