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Australia way behind in electric vehicle sales

Call for government help

2019 Savic electric motorcycle prototype orders giants

Australia is miles behind the UK when it comes to interest in electric motorcycles and scooters.

A new survey shows half of UK bikers want to own an electric motorbike or have bought one, and 43.8% say sales of new petrol bikes should eventually be banned entirely.

In Australia, there are few electric models available:

Of course, the biggest obstacle in Australia is the combination of limited range of electric vehicles and the tyranny of distance in our big country, especially when compared wth the UK.

But it’s not just sales of electric motorcycles and scooters that are stagnant. Electric Vehicle Council figures show that last ear only 6,900 electric cars were sold in Australia, up just 2.7% on 2019. That’s just 0.7 per cent of total Australian car sales.

By comparison, electric vehicles in the EU increased their market share from 3.8% in 2019 to 10.2% in 2020. In California, market share went from 7.6% to 8.1%. Norway EV sales rose from 56% in 2019 to 75% in 2020.

In the the UK, it was 3.1% in 2019 against 10.7% in 2020, but that should improve markedly if the survey from motorbike insurer Bikesure is any indication.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari blames politicians for “yanking the handbrake” on EV sales in Australia.

“We have no targets, no significant incentives, no fuel efficiency standards – and in Victoria we even have a new tax on non-emitting vehicles,” he says.

In fact, NSW, South Australia and Victoria have all announced a road user charge for low and zero emission vehicles, which includes electric motorcycles and scooters.

“Our governments are apparently doing everything possible to ensure Australia is stalled with its hazards on while the rest of the world zooms into the horizon,” Beyhad says.

  1. Well speaking for myself i want a bike with an engine i can hear and feel, take note i do not have loud pipes but just a simple love of feeling that engine rev. Otherwise I may as well be riding an electric scooter.

  2. My thoughts on this are that electric bikes is Australia are a White Elephant that will go the way of the Dodo once the fad wears off as the only way they’ll ever have a real place will be when fuel cell technology actually works & the distance/recharge problem is solved, so I wouldn’t be holding my breath for any miracles anytime soon.

    1. Spot on. The tech behind EV is still a long way from being a useful alternative in Australia.

  3. Love the way that guy blames politicians… it’s the market stupid!

    The market decides what they want and will buy.

    It seems your EV products are too dear / no range / it’s a big country / so a bad fit.

    Go away and come up with a better products.

    1. Electric motorcycle and scooter sales in the UK accounted for around 5% of total motorcycle sales in Q1 2021. That shows what happens when you have a decent range of electric motorcycles being offered in a market and government support for cleaner vehicles – unlike Australia. The average commute in Australia is 16km and the best electric motorcycles have a range of 400km so your range argument doesn’t fit the biggest portion of motorcycle buyers in Australia (commuters accounted for 43% of new motorcycle buyers in 2020).

      Of course the market isn’t going to respond to a poor selection of bikes. Better products exist – those manufacturers just have no interest in wasting their time with us in Australia because they can make more and easier money in most other markets. It’s a shame that we’ll get left behind with yesterday’s tech just like we currently are with cars – gas guzzlers that no other country wants. The government needs to invest in EV incentives if they want Australia to be a tech leader and create jobs in new high-demand markets.

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