EV battle heats up as govt moves forward on fuel-efficiency rules

For the past few years, Tesla has been synonymous with electric vehicles (EV) in both Australia and other markets outside China. But that may be changing.

In the December 2023 quarter, Chinese manufacturer BYD sold more EVs throughout the world than Tesla, while in January BYD outsold Tesla in Australia, according to the Australian Financial Review.

That said, Tesla is still the dominant local player. Tesla sold 46,116 vehicles in Australia in 2023; by comparison, BYD sold 12,438 last year and hopes to sell 20,000 this year.

It should also be noted that motorists continue to heavily favour traditional vehicles over EVs. During February, battery electric vehicles accounted for 9.6% of sales, compared to 6.8% the year before, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.


New vehicles set to become more fuel-efficient

Meanwhile, the federal government has made progress on its plan to introduce a New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES), after publishing an options paper and inviting public comment.

One of the goals of the NVES will be to incentivise global vehicle manufacturers to send cleaner, cheaper-to-run cars to Australia. Currently, passenger cars in Australia use, on average, 20% more fuel than those in the US, according to the paper.

Under the government's preferred option, there would be a 61% reduction in average new car emissions from 2024 to 2029 to reach alignment with the US around 2028.

“An average new car buyer in 2028 will cut their fuel costs by around 40% compared to what they pay today,” the options paper said. “An average new car buyer in 2028 will cut their annual fuel costs by around $1,000. EV drivers could also save around $350 per year in maintenance. An average vehicle purchaser in 2028 will save $5,710 over five years.” 

The government hopes to make an announcement on its final position and introduce legislation this year, before launching the NVES on 1 January 2025.

Whether you want to buy a traditional or electric vehicle, I can help. My recommendation is to contact me before you visit a dealer, so I can help you get pre-approved for a car loan and confirm your budget.


Published: 19/3/2024

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