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Wider range of electric vehicles headed for Australia in 2023

Electric sports cars, SUVs, vans, and a full fleet of battery-powered hatchbacks are expected to roar into Australia in 2023 after a milestone year for the automotive technology.

 

Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Big-name brands including Toyota, Fiat, Subaru and Ford are poised to launch electric vehicles in the country for the first time in a trend transport experts called promising.

But climate experts said policy changes were needed before the trickle of new electric cars to Australia could become a flood.

A range of electric cars are lined up to launch in Australia in 2023, including compact models from Fiat, MG, BYD and VW-owned Cupra Born, as well as SUVs from Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen, and a Ford van.

New models could break price records at both ends of the spectrum, with some hatchbacks tipped to sell for less than $40,000 while luxury models from Mercedes-Benz and Maserati push the upper limits.

Electric Vehicle Council policy head Jake Whitehead said the line-up showed Australia’s reputation for electric transport was changing, even though greater progress was needed.

“Even the discussion (about a fuel efficiency standard) has been helpful and over the past six months we’ve seen companies look to Australia as an opportunity, as a new market, so that’s very exciting,” he said.

Whitehead said demand for electric vehicles still outstripped supply in Australia but some potential buyers would delay their investments while waiting to see an EV to suit their needs.

“Individual buyers are looking at what they can get right now,” he said.

“For many there will be a suitable option and for others they will be looking at what’s coming into the market in the next year or so.”

Electric vehicle policy changes in Australia have seen more state-based incentives and rebates, cuts to fringe benefits tax on EV purchases, and the release of a national electric vehicle strategy consultation paper.

But Climate Council advocacy head Jennifer Rayner said Australians deserved a greater choice of electric vehicles, in models and prices, which may not be delivered until the country had a fuel efficiency standard.

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The rule would set an emissions limit across a car maker’s fleet. Australia is one of only two countries in the developed world without one.

“The market is clearly moving overseas and that’s meaning we’re getting more of that drip feed of electric vehicles through,” Dr Rayner said.

“But we need that feed to become a flood in order to get Australians off expensive fuel and reduce our emissions footprint.”

-AAP

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