Over the last decade, a renaissance in electric car manufacturing has occurred thanks to battery advancements, increasing oil prices and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But for many, electric cars feel like a far away future or at least a little confusing.

What even are you?

A ‘plug-in’ electric vehicle is a car propelled by one or more electric motors through energy stored in rechargeable batteries. At the moment charging a battery can take up to an hour, though as technology improves this amount will soon decrease.

Charging stations are predominantly concentrated in cities and there are only a few hundred in Australia. However, chargers aren’t exclusive to petrol stations, as many forward-thinking and environmentally friendly councils are finding ways to install them locally.

Electric Vehicle’s (EV) are the greenest way to (quickly) get around as they significantly reduce local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. That being said, who’s actually jumping on the green bandwagon?

The global frenzy

Currently, there are around 3 million EV’s that have been sold around the world and drive on our roads. Two thirds of the EV sales can be found in just 3 countries: the United States, Japan and China with the largest amount of EV on their roads making up 650,000 sales of EV alone. China buys 25 million cars annually and 10% of those sales are projected to be EV by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Some countries have announced that they’ll no longer sell new diesel and petrol cars, with Norway and the Netherlands projecting to do so in 2025. Many car manufacturers are aiming to build solely electric cars from now on, with Volvo saying they’ll do so by 2019, Jaguar and Land Rover aiming to do so by 2020 and GM announcing they have 20 new electric models under design.

Going electric in Australia

The EV revolution in Australia is far behind some parts of the world. As of the beginning of 2018, there are only 4,000 EV on the road, which makes up only 0.1% of new vehicle sales in Australia.

That’s not to say that there isn’t interest in EV within Australia. More than 50% of Australians in the market to buy new cars are aware and consider buying EV. With so many Australians looking into EV that number could increase to 70% through policy support.

The thing that holds Australians back from purchasing EV are the prices of new EV and the range as which they can travel. There are currently 16 EV models in Australia and 13 of those models are over $60,000.

However, there has been a flurry of announcements from car manufacturers like Tesla and Nissan that could see new models of EV being sold in Australia by the end of the year for under $60,000. Additionally, the range on the vehicles has increased exponentially, claiming more than 400km on one single charge with reducing charge time as well.

While Australia is currently behind the Electric Vehicle revolution, the future of EV in Australia has potential to become a leader in EV given the right policy support.