The Digital Edge features in The Australian

New research shows a majority of Australians are not interested in purchasing an electric car, with 62 per cent saying they will not do so within the next ten years.

With Labor and the Coalition trading barbs over electric vehicle policy, research conducted by Sydney-based firm The Digital Edge suggests most Australians have no interest in buying an EV.

Price remains the largest barrier to purchase, with 49 per cent of respondents declaring that was their inhibitor to buying an electric car.

When asked what an acceptable price range would be for electric vehicles, close to half of respondents (48 per cent) said they should be the same price as combustion engine cars, and over a third (33 per cent) expect them to be less expensive.

A lack of education about electric cars also seems apparent, with almost a third of respondents (30 per cent) saying that they don’t know enough about them to consider purchasing one.

Infrastructure concerns have a limited influence on purchasing decisions, with just under a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) worried about the limited number of charging stations, and 15 per cent concerned about a lack of infrastructure. In addition, only 19 per cent of respondents mentioned charging times as a reason for not buying electric cars.

Two thirds (66 per cent) however also said they would expect their vehicle to charge in less than 30 minutes, including a quarter (23 per cent) in less than 10 minutes, while the average EV charging time in Australia is currently around 30 minutes.

Bill Shorten charging an electric car at the launch of Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan. Picture: Kym Smith

Younger generations are more inclined to adopt electric cars, with almost half of respondents aged 18-24 planning to buy one in the next ten years vs just over a quarter (28 per cent) of those aged between 55 and 64.

“It is interesting to see that electric vehicles are such a hot topic this federal election, while our research shows that it doesn’t seem to be a pressing concern for the majority of Australians,” The Digital Edge’s director of operations Roger Neyland said.

“However, we have to consider these results may also be related to a lack of education and general information from Australians on the topic, with a significant portion of them saying they don’t know enough about electric vehicles to consider purchasing one.

“If Labor really want half of new cars sold in Australia to be electric within 11 years, it seems like they will need to prioritise education, and developing the right infrastructures for these vehicles to efficiently run across the country.”

The news comes as Bill Shorten last week backed away from a flagship Labor target of 50 per cent of all vehicles purchased in 2030 being electric, during an interview in which he also explained his party’s renewable energy policy with a comparison to “not eating Big Macs”.

“What we’ve said is that by 2030 we would like to see half of the new cars sold be electric. That doesn’t mean that that will happen,” he told Nova Perth.

“So what we’re doing is we’re saying we’ll put in battery charging stations so that if you want to buy an electric car you’ve got somewhere to charge it.”

In that interview Mr Shorten also likened investment in renewable energy to giving up an addiction to Big Macs.

“If you had a friend who was perhaps on the large side, the chubby side, and they had 10 Big Macs a day,” he said. “Yes there’s a cost to not eating the Big Macs. But in the long term it’s an investment, isn’t it?”

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