Sales of plug-in and electric vehicles in Australia nearly tripled over the past year and according to Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari, it is all driven by positive policy change at a state level.

Recent sales figures released by the Electric Vehicle Council yesterday indicated more than 20,000 EVs were sold in Australia last year, up from 6,900 in 2020.

EVs now also account for a 1.95% market share of new vehicles, up from 0.78% in 2020 with the Tesla Model 3 taking the cake for the best-selling sedan in the country after recording a total of 12,094 new sales.

Tesla’s Model 3 outsold MG’s ZS, which reeled in 1,388 new sales followed by Mitsubishi’s Outlander at 592 and MG’s HS at 580.

Porshe’s Taycan was the fifth most popular EV sold with 531 new sales.

“The penny has now well and truly dropped on how good electric vehicles are,” Jafari said.

“The role of government is to help them (car manufacturers) make the jump – it’s great that some state governments have received the global message, but at a national level we’re stuck in the past.

“We desperately need the federal government to introduce Australian EV rebates alongside fuel efficiency standards, just like other developed nations.

“If we get these changes, you’ll see sales figures really rocket ahead.”

Pic: Electric Vehicle Council


Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy

The Morrison Government unveiled its national Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy in November last year which supported and accelerated the rollout of some charging infrastructure and failed to include effective measures to improve electric vehicle uptake.

Fuel efficiency standards, which have been used in the US and Europe for decades, require car manufacturers to sell vehicles with a combined level of emissions below a defined benchmark, encouraging the sale of zero-emission vehicles.

With more and more countries beginning to ban the sale of petrol and diesel by 2035, this means that in some countries by 2032 more than 90% of the vehicles will be electric and by 2035, 100% will be electric.

‘Hyundai put around 600 units on its website and they sold out within one hour … there isn’t a demand problem in Australia – it’s a supply problem.’

“We will see more and more countries signing up to that, they won’t want to be left with all petrol and diesel vehicles dumped on their shores,” he said.

“Australia could potentially become the dumping ground if we don’t bring ourselves up to speed with the rest of the world.”

Countries like Norway represent the best-case EV roll-out globally, where 75 per cent of new car sales were electric in 2021.



EV uptake: A supply problem

But while Australia’s EV sales may only be a small mark in the sand, Jafari said the sales jump from 0.7% to almost 2.5% is incredibly encouraging.

“I’m confident we would have had a much higher number if only we had more electric vehicles available for people to buy,” he said.

“The most overdue aspect is for Australia to have a fuel efficiency or light vehicle CO2 standard in place, this is something that is now decades overdue compared to the rest of the world.

“It is ridiculous that we don’t have one, in fact car makers have made it very clear – they’ve said that because Australia doesn’t have these in place, it is difficult to justify bringing electric vehicles to the market and therefore we are missing out on the products.”

Hyundai put around 600 units on its website and sold out without one hour, he added, further backing up the point that there isn’t a demand problem in Australia – it’s a supply problem.


ASX stocks to watch

By the end of the decade, the government plans to accelerate the deployment of charging and hydrogen refuelling stations to support 1.7 million electric vehicles nationwide with the help of a $250 million government fund.

While the electric vehicle market in Australia is still young, this presents a huge opportunity for companies in a range of different sectors to lead the energy transition.


Brisbane-based NVX is a developer and supplier of high-performance materials such as graphene-based anodes for the lithium-ion battery industry.

The company has operations in the USA and Canada, and sales in 14 countries.

On January 25, it entered into investment and supply agreements with KORE Power Inc as part of an ongoing joint effort to strengthen the North American battery supply chain, from key materials to cell and pack manufacturing for electric vehicles and energy storage systems.



ALD has committed to deliver fast-charging bays at more than 100 sites last year across its national retail network, covering the Greater Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth regions.



With offices in Melbourne, Malaysia, and Singapore RFT specialises in developing and manufacturing high reliability and high efficiency power conversion products.

In August last year, it launched its first two-way electric vehicle (EV) charger, allowing homes and businesses to not only charge an EV, but also sell excess power back to the grid.

Known as “vehicle-to-grid” (V2G), this technology allows owners of EVs with bi-directional charging capabilities, such as the Nissan Leaf, to sell power back to the grid during times of peak demand, helping to cut their own power bills.

Its product ‘Highbury’ is a wall-mounted DC slim-line bidirectional charger, designed with carports and tight car parking spaces in mind – the company expects the product to be on the market soon, along with the 11kW, three-phase Highbury for faster charging and greater energy export capability for commercial vehicle owners.



Sydney-based MNS is a vertically integrated lithium-ion battery company with investments in the electrification supply chain, including manufacturing of green credentialed lithium-ion battery cells through its US based subsidiary Imperium3 New York, Inc (iM3NY).

Magnis is looking to develop a lithium-ion battery Gigafactory in Townsville.

It’s one of three large scale Gigafactories Imperium3 has in the works, with its New York location the most advanced.