The auto market in Australia, like abroad, is constant to face robust instances however one sector of the trade – zero and low emissions autos – is flourishing.
With an inflow of latest all-electric autos (EVs) and plug-in electrical autos (PHEVs) changing into obtainable in Australia, there may be extra alternative for drivers shopping for new automobiles and it might appear that this, together with a need to flee from rising gasoline costs, is driving a change within the native automotive market.
New figures launched by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries on Monday present that automotive gross sales to the tip of July 2019 are 7.7% down from the earlier yr, a pattern that’s slowing however nonetheless persisten.
Nevertheless, gross sales of plug-in electrical autos have doubled to 1,572 offered from January to July in 2019 in comparison with simply 762 in 2018 for a similar interval. Hybrid gross sales, led by the favored Toyota RAV4, have additionally surged.
Whereas Australia’s love affair with huge, grunty utes continues (the Toyota Hilux took the highest place once more in July), and SUVs stay the preferred section general, diesel gross sales have fallen throughout all markets by almost 10%, dropping by 37% in passenger automobile gross sales and 15% within the SUV section.
Petrol gross sales haven’t suffered fairly as badly as diesel but in addition proceed to fall (the one exception being gross sales of personal gentle business autos).
“The July gross sales figures proceed as an instance the robust market situations dealing with the Australian automotive trade, and the delicate nature of the economic system over the previous twelve months,” stated FCAI chief Tony Webber in a notice by way of e-mail.
“Tight monetary lending, drought, rising Luxurious Automobile Tax imposts and the Federal election have all contributed to make the Australian automotive market one of many hardest on the earth.”
The automotive trade is reluctant to confess that many potential patrons could also be holding on to their present autos for longer, ready for an EV to reach at their price-point.
Within the SUV section, the place diesel gross sales have fallen by simply over 18%, personal gross sales of all-electric and plug-in electrical autos have already soared by nearly five-fold, and doubled for non-private gross sales.
Gross sales of plug-in electrical autos (each battery electrical and hybrid) within the personal sector have additionally elevated by 19%.
Though nonetheless accounting for a fraction of the general auto market in Australia, the figures – and experiences equivalent to that from Toyota which was shocked when its RAV4 hybrid outstripped its fossil-fuelled stablemates by two to one earlier this yr – present there’s a change within the wind.
The figures don’t inform the entire story, both.
Electrical carmaker Tesla, which is famously tight-lipped about its automobile gross sales specifically markets and doesn’t share knowledge with the FCAI, is just not included within the above graph.
Whereas till lately solely its premium Mannequin S sedan and Mannequin X SUV have been obtainable in Australia, with modest gross sales given the variety of EVs registered in Australia remains to be within the low 1000’s, Tesla is just weeks away from commencing deliveries of its more affordable “mass-market” Model 3 to its first customers.
The Mannequin three’s arrival in Australia will additional enhance electrical automotive gross sales, though not within the SUV section – Tesla mass-market contribution to that section, the Mannequin Y, is just not anticipated to reach in Australia till 2021 on the earliest.
However there are already a couple of of plug-in electrical SUV decisions in Australia, notably the Hyundai Kona EV, the Jaguar i-Pace EV and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and it’s these which might be fuelling the push of EVs into Australia.