Electric cars grabbing Aussie attention

INTEREST in electric cars is accelerating, according to new research by Australian comparison website, Finder.

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A recent survey of 872 Australians who were in the market for a new car revealed that almost half (45 per cent) would consider buying an electric vehicle.

The research suggested that 27 per cent of these drivers were interested in electric cars for environmental reasons, while 14 per cent said fuel efficiency was their top reason.

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Some 4 per cent said they liked the way they looked.

Finder said in a recent media statement that electric car sales in Australia had tripled in 2019 from 2,216 to 6,718.

“In the first half of 2020, 3,226 electric vehicles were also sold, despite a 20% reduction in overall new vehicle sales due to COVID-19,” the statement read.

“Yet electric vehicles account for just 0.6% of all new sales in Australia, whereas this number increases to around 2.5%-5% of all vehicles in other developed countries.”

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Insurance specialist at Finder, Taylor Blackburn said electric vehicles will likely increase in popularity over the next few years.

“According to the Electric Vehicle Council, it costs $0.33 per e-litre to run an electric car, versus $1.50 per litre on fuel for a combustion engine. If the average person drives 11,100 kilometres per year, it will cost them $407 in an electric car and $1,848 in a regular car,” Blackburn said.

That’s a difference of $1,441.  

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Yet not everyone is open to purchasing an electric vehicle, according to Finder.

The survey found that cost remains a major deterrent for 17 per cent of drivers, while 18 per cent would simply prefer a car with a combustible engine.

The remaining 4% said they wouldn’t consider purchasing an electric car because they have nowhere to charge it.

Blackburn said insurance for an electric vehicle is generally more expensive than for conventional cars, but there are still ways to save money.

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“Some insurers like RAC will offer discounts for cars with low fuel emissions. Under the RAC scheme, cars under a year old could see a premium reduction of up to 25%.

“We may also begin to see the price of electric vehicles begin to drop over the coming years as they become more mainstream,” Blackburn said.

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