September 9 is World EV Day and while not too many Australians will have it marked on their calendar, there is plenty to celebrate with battery-electric and hybrid vehicle sales in this country finally making decent headway.
According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), EV and hybrid sales have defied the car industry slump and COVID-19 to record 38,390 year-to-date sales up till August 31, which is a 91 percent increase over the same period last year.
Those numbers are even more noteworthy when you consider there was a three-fold increase in EV/Hybrid sales in 2019 compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, there were 6694 EVs and hybrids sold last month alone, up 113.9 percent over August 2019. Many of these were the 4405 hybrid versions of the Toyota RAV4 medium SUV that made up the bulk of the marque’s 4825 sales.
Significantly, those 4405 RAV 4 Hybrids alone were the biggest selling model in Australia last month, which was the first time an electrified vehicle topped the monthly VFACTS sales chart.
FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said the industry hopes the first World EV Day will be remembered as a turning point for electric vehicles in this country.
“The inaugural World EV Day comes at a watershed moment for Australia’s e-mobility,” Weber said.
He added that various reports suggest that nearly 60 per cent of Australians are considering an EV for their next vehicle driven in part by the development of vital EV infrastructure.
500,000th Nissan Leaf rolls off the production line
Nissan has celebrated World EV Day with the production of the 500,000th Leaf, the world’s first mass-market full electric car.
The half-millionth Leaf rolled off the line at the Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, England, almost a decade after the model first went on sale. The plant has built more than 175,000 Leaf hatchbacks since it began producing the model in 2013.
The second-generation Leaf arrived in 2019 and is on sale in Australia and priced from $49,990.
New charging network
Indeed, charging infrastructure is vital if EVs are going to take hold in a big country like Australia where range anxiety is common.
One organisation has used World EV Day to announce a new network across western Victoria that will be built with state and local government funding.
The network of more than 20 electric vehicle chargers is being rolled out across 17 sites in Central and Western Victoria in partnership with the Victorian Government and the following councils:
- Mildura Rural City Council
- Swan Hill Rural City Council
- Gannawarra Shire Council
- Buloke Shire Council
- Mount Alexander Shire Council
- City of Greater Bendigo
- Campaspe Shire Council
- Greater Shepparton City Council
- Loddon Shire Council
- Central Goldfields Shire Council
- Wellington Shire Council
- Whittlesea Shire Council
It is hoped that the success of the network will see it extended across all regional and rural shires in the state.
Rob Law, executive officer of Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, the local government network that is driving the project, says that increasing the charger network will help to boost jobs numbers and EV uptake in regional Victoria.
“The Charging the Regions network will ensure that regional Victoria does not get left behind as more and more electric cars hit the road,” he said.
“It will boost jobs, stimulate EV tourism and encourage people who live in regional Victoria to think about ‘going electric’ on their next vehicle purchase.
EV BATTLE: Lucid Air v Tesla Model S spec comparison
There’s been no shortage of competition for Tesla’s revolutionary Model S electric car. Challengers have been created by established manufacturers, been jointly developed between rival car companies, and we’ve even seen the rise and fall of EV start-ups that fail before they start.
That is, until now. A new name has hit the market, and Lucid Motors looks to be aiming squarely at the Model S with its new Air electric sedan. Unlike its forebears, this one seems as though it’ll go the distance rather than fizzle into obscurity.
So does the new kid on the block have what it takes knock off the car that has been the EV benchmark since 2012? - READ THE FULL COMPARISON HERE
Eight EVs that will want to make you convert
Yes, this Volkswagen Type 181 is electric, with the body easily placed upon skateboard like EV underpinnings. Still reckon EVs can't be cool?
Still not convinced about EV ownership, then let us tempt you into the zero-emissions age with eight fascinating vehicles coming to market in the not so distant future that bust the most frequently cited concerns from Australian EV opponents. - CHECK OUT THE FULL LIST