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Motorists find surprising new car trend

ELECTRIC VEHICLE TAX
The government launched its national electric vehicle strategy last year. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Naomi Jellicoe

Australia is on track to double the number of electric vehicle charging stations over the next year, with nearly 100 new fast-charging sites already added to the network since the start of 2024.

New data from the federal energy department shows that Australia is approaching a total of 900 DC fast-charging sites, marking a 90 per cent increase compared to two years ago.

It came as the Albanese government unveiled its updated fuel efficiency standards to parliament this week, in a bid to incentivise carmakers to import cleaner cars into Australia.

Currently, there are about 3,000 regular EV charging stations nationwide, and 7,000 individual plugs and sockets.

There are approximately 198,000 electric vehicles driving on Australian roads, two-thirds of which have been purchased since 2022.

Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen praised the new figures, and said the government was “working quickly” to ensure more Australians had access to running their electric vehicles.

“We’re working quickly to ramp up EV charging across Australia to ensure easier, cheaper holiday weekend driving –

with more fast charging added since the election than under the entire 9 years of the previous government,” he said.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE TAX
The price of EV’s in Australia could be reduced under new fuel efficiency standards. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Naomi Jellicoe

According to recent figures released by the Australian Automobile Association, over 87,200 electric vehicles were sold in the 12 months to January.

Electric car sales will need to increase substantially if the federal government is to achieve its bold target to cut emissions from new vehicles by 61 per cent by 2030.

After facing pressure from some vehicle manufacturers, Labor watered down its proposed pollution caps for new utes and large SUVs after it introduced its new vehicle efficiency standard into parliament on Tuesday.

Under the updated rules, average emissions for new light commercial vehicles will need to be reduced by 50 per cent over the next five years if manufacturers are to avoid financial penalties.

Electric vehicle manufacturers including Tesla and Polestar are likely to be key beneficiaries of the scheme as they will be able to generate credits from new vehicle sales.