Though Tesla is in the headlines mostly due to the buyouts and corporate antics of CEO Elon Musk, not much is said on Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Australia.
According to a comprehensive study on the EV car market by Savvy, in Norway, EV sales comprise 74.8 percent of the new car sales market. Alternatively, in Australia, it’s a hundredth of that number: 0.78 percent. Looking at the entire world, the average is 4.7 percent. Australia is well behind the curve in that regard.
EVs are the catalyst for an “extreme disruption” in the car market for 2022 and beyond. But are consumers ready for it? Do they even want it, even as petrol prices rise along with rampant inflation?
We agree we need EVs, but our hip pockets say otherwise
According to Roy Morgan research, 52.2 percent of Australians would “seriously consider” purchasing a hybrid EV. Alternatively, 36.2 percent have expressed interest in fully electric vehicles.
The same Savvy study also found that 73 percent of Australians agree that moving to EVs is important to curb climate change. However, 79 percent also agree that affordability needs to improve before buying.
Seventeen percent were worried about charging station availability. There’s only 3,000 public charging points in a country 7.692 million square kilometres in size, long-haul EVs almost don’t make sense to the average consumer.
Couple that to the higher price tag, and Australians are staying away. If only for the moment.
That’s even considering that a higher upfront cost means lower overall prices to power the vehicle compared with petrol.
Buying and selling online
One segment that saw significant growth in sales was the Toyota Rav4 hybrid. The vehicle surged by 39 percent during the pandemic. This even overtook petrol variant sales.
Much of this was done online, as pandemic lockdowns and social distancing prevented people going into dealerships.
Then, post-pandemic, consumers were waiting (and may still be waiting) for cars on order due to the global semi-conductor shortage and supply chain issues. Therefore, it can be done. But do people want it that way?
Finance, cars, and clicks
Many Australians are now looking and buying cars online. And they’re also taking a look at the best personal loans online – possibly in adjacent browser tabs.
The ultimate in a consumer buying experience is creating a frictionless one. Australian car enthusiasts continued to purchase during the pandemic by more than 33 percent. To make a smooth experience, it should be about finding the perfect EV and also the financials at the same time.
As we all know, haggling and getting the best price is all part of the Aussie way of buying a car. No one ever pays list price.
If the loan approval or pre approval is completed online, there’s no reason why the entire transaction can’t be digital as well. A broker can return the most competitive rate for loans – why not cars?
Dealers or car brokers could incentivise digital sales through exclusive online discounts, for example.
It may disrupt the industry so much that the days of visiting long highways lined by dealerships could also become a thing of the past.
As for when that’ll happen? We’ll have to watch this space.
Adrian Edlington is the PR & Communications Manager at Savvy.