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Electric vehicle sales on the rise in South Australia

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The number of electric cars sold in SA has jumped significantly to all-but match the ACT as the nation’s leading jurisdiction for per capita sales of the vehicles.

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Just under 22 electric vehicles were sold per 10,000 of all vehicles sold in both South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory in 2017, according to the second annual State of Electric Vehicles in Australia report, released last week.

The report says a total of 152 electric vehicles were purchased in South Australia between mid-2016 and mid-2017.

The number of electric vehicle sales per 10,000 vehicles sold has surged in 12 months, according to the report, but they remain a tiny proportion of total vehicle sales in Australia.

The report was produced by not-for-profit research firm ClimateWorks on behalf of the national body representing the electric vehicle industry in Australia, the Electric Vehicle Council.

The jump in electric vehicle sales in South Australia coincides with an increase in the number of charging points from 42 to 76 across the state.

City of Adelaide Deputy Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor told InDaily the increasing availability of charging points was making electric vehicles a more viable option for new car buyers.

However, she said the high price of electric vehicles remained a barrier for many.

“Price point is still a major consideration,” she said.

“All levels of government need to start looking at it (encouraging electric vehicle purchases).”

According to the report, most electric vehicles sold in Australia are valued above $60,000.

Nationally, electric vehicle sales are on an upward, if turbulent, trajectory.

The slump in electric vehicle sales in Australia that made headlines last year has been followed by a renewed 67 per cent jump (taking 2016 as the reference year).

In total, 2284 electric vehicles were sold in Australia in 2017, compared with 1369 in 2016.

Electric vehicle sales are on an upward, if turbulent, trajectory.

“The year 2017 marked a step-change in the global uptake of electric vehicles, spearheaded by governments proposing targets to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles and increased investment from industry,” the report says.

“Australians purchased 1076 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and 1208 battery electric vehicles – so these now make up 0.2 per cent of the Australian market.

“The national increase in electric vehicle sales may be linked in part to an increase in the range of models available in 2017.”

The national figures are limited, however, because Elon Musk’s electric vehicles company Tesla did not release its sales figures to ClimateWorks for either of its State of Electric Vehicles in Australia reports.

The total national sales figures include an estimate of Tesla vehicle sales numbers, based on government and industry data, but the state-by-state figures do not factor in Tesla sales.

ClimateWorks was established by Monash University and the Myer Foundation.

The report received funding from Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

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