The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy FInance Corporation (CEFC) have released a new report predicting electric vehicle (EV) sales to rapidly increase.

The report, prepared by Energeia, forecast three potential scenarios.

Under all scenarios, including under a scenario of no intervention, the report predicts that between 2020 and 2027, EVs will reach price parity with traditional combustion engines and then rapidly increase as a percentage of new vehicle sales.

Model availability, registration fee reductions, procurement targets and fuel efficiency standards have been found to be key drivers for the uptake. The availability of charging infrastructure, while not found to be a driver, is a barrier to EV uptake.

The report forecasts growth of the consumer market and uptake for EVs in Australia, and also includes modelling on the need for future charging infrastructure.

Energeia’s market study has identified that the vast majority of trips made in Australia are well within the range of current and future EVs, with investment in public charging infrastructure being a necessary prerequisite to EV uptake globally.

EV sales are set to expand over the next five years as more popular vehicle models are released.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said EVs represent a great opportunity and looked forward to the increasing share of electric vehicles in the Australian market.

“Electric vehicles represent a great opportunity for Australia. They can offer a better and more efficient driving experience, with lower emissions while reducing Australia’s dependence on fuel imports. As far as ARENA is concerned, they also offer a great opportunity for renewable energy technologies that can be used to charge them. Also, being a battery with wheels, EVs offer tremendous opportunities to support the grid through smart charging.

“This report illustrates methods that have been used elsewhere around the globe to encourage people to buy electric vehicles. It examines charging infrastructure in some detail and also models what future EV uptake trends in Australia might be.” Mr Frischknecht said.

“The report helps us to deliver on ARENA’s investment priority of improving Australia’s energy productivity. It also builds on the other EV related projects ARENA has already supported. I hope this report will be a useful addition to the EV conversation currently taking place in Australia.”

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said “Australians have traditionally been early adopters of new technology, but we’re lagging when it comes to EVs. This research shows that we can increase the uptake of EVs in a way that benefits drivers as well as the environment. It’s about lowering prices, supporting more models and creating a charging network.

“The reality is that the transition to EVs is inevitable. We’re already seeing vehicle makers confirm they will stop producing pure internal combustion engines over the coming years. At the same time, we’re seeing dramatic improvements in vehicle charging networks, creating the essential infrastructure to support electric vehicles. These measures can deliver a material improvement on our greenhouse gas emissions, as well as take our vehicle fleet into the 21st century.”

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