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Industry reacts as Australia finally gets a national EV strategy

On April 19, 2023, the Australian government released its first National Electric Vehicle Strategy (NEVS), outlining how it intends to minimise roadblocks to EV uptake and accelerate their adoption.

Federal minister for climate change and energy Chris Bowen said the strategy “delivers on our commitment to provide greater choice for Australians to drive cars that are cleaner and cheaper to run”.

The number of Australian EV sales nearly doubled in 2021, yet in 2022 they made up just 3.8 per cent of all new vehicle sales. This was much less than the 12-14 per cent global norm and well behind the global leader, Norway, where almost all new vehicles sold are now electric – although the average age of cars on Norwegian roads has increased as people hold onto their old petrol and diesel models for longer.

Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford Mustang Mach-E

Change is accelerating, though. Battery electric vehicles accounted for 7.4 per cent of new vehicle sales in Australia during the first half of the calendar year.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, the 8240 new electric vehicles sold in June this year made up a massive 47.7 per cent of the month’s 17,299 passenger vehicle registrations, contributing to 11.3 per cent of total NZ new vehicle sales being fully electric in the first half of 2023.

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