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Drivers keen to go green and switch to electric cars: RAA survey

Monday, 6th Jul 2020

More than 40 per cent of motorists are considering buying an electric car when purchasing their next motor vehicle, an RAA survey reveals.

Motorists’ desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was driving the interest in switching from petrol to electric power, the survey found.

They also identified electric vehicle performance and running costs as an incentive to pull the plug on petrol.

However, motorists’ electric vehicle enthusiasm is curbed by the purchase price and accessibility to charging outlets, the survey also reported.

RAA Mobility Technology Specialist Mark Borlace said he wasn’t surprised by the level of interest South Australian’s had in electric powered vehicles, given their environmental impact.

“Electric vehicles produce around 50 per cent less pollution than petrol vehicles in South Australia,’’ he said.

“This technology is especially effective in South Australia, as we produce the greenest electricity on mainland Australia through the extensive generation of solar and wind power.

“It will play a key role in driving down pollution levels and enable the State Government to achieve its target to slash greenhouse gas emissions.’’

Mr Borlace said accessibility to charging equipment was one of the key factors discouraging people from moving to electric cars.

“This is why RAA is urging the SA government to invest in fast-charging stations in Adelaide and across the state to encourage the transition to electric vehicles,’’ he said.

“RAA and other mobility clubs are already investing in a partnership with Chargefox to roll out such stations across the nation, including one at Keith in the state’s South Each which was switched on in March this year.’’

Earlier this year the Marshall government set the most ambitious target of any state to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

The government aims to cut emissions to 50 per cent of the 2005 levels to “turbo-charge” its bid to tackle climate change.

It also promised to release an electric vehicle strategy as one of the keys to reducing pollution levels later this year. 

Mr Borlace said the state’s largest mobility organisation applauded the government’s bid to promote electric vehicles to protect the environment. 

“The quicker charging stations are rolled out the quicker will be the take up of electric vehicles,’’ he said.

The May survey results – which RAA has shared with the government – include:

  • 41 per cent said they would consider buying an electric vehicle as their next car purchase
  • 63 per cent said reducing pollution would encourage them to buy an electric vehicle
  • 50 per cent said accessibility to charging stations would discourage them to buy an electric vehicle
  • 51 per cent said they would source solar panel power or batteries when charging their electric car at home
  • 59 per cent said government provision of public charging stations would encourage them to buy electric

Mr Borlace said latest electric vehicles sales data showed they were becoming much more popular.

“While the numbers sold are coming off a small base, figures from the National Transport Commission show electric vehicle sales surged 149 per cent last year compared to 2018,’’ Mr Borlace said.