Autos

Norway leads the way on electric car sales


New figures show just how far Australia is behind the rest of the world in the take-up of crucial new technology.

Australians bought just 1769 electric cars in 2020, or just 0.19 per cent of the 916,968 new cars sold in the past year.

This number would be higher but Tesla does not report its sales publicly.

By comparison in Norway more than 50 per cent of new cars sold last year were fully electric — this is the first time any country has achieved this figure.

This figure was achieved in part because Norwegians are encouraged to buy electric cars via various government incentives.

Electric cars are exempt from taxes levied against fossil-fuel powered vehicles as part of that country’s drive to end sales of combustion engine cars by 2025. Australia currently offers no such incentives to electric vehicle buyers.

The most popular new electric cars in Norway were the Audi e-tron SUV, which has just gone on sale in Australia, the Tesla Model 3 and the VW I.D. 3, which won’t arrive locally for several years.

Tesla’s Model 3 was relegated to second spot despite the company producing a record 500,000 cars last year.

Australian electric car sales could get a boost soon as some of the world’s biggest car makers start selling their new zero-emissions vehicles locally.

Toyota is preparing to show off its all-new SUV this year, which will be unlike anything the brand has built before.

The yet-to-be-named EV will be the same size as the current RAV4 but will be built on the company’s new scalable electric platform.

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This new electric vehicle platform — which has been co-developed with Subaru — will allow Toyota to build multiple vehicles including a compact and large SUV, sedan and potentially a hatch.

Several car makers are working on electric utes, which could further swell our take-up of electric cars. The Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger utes were the two top selling vehicles in Australia last year.

Tesla is preparing its new factory in Texas, which is set to build the new Cybertruck in the coming years. Electric start-up Rivian is expected to start delivering its R1T electric ute in the middle of this year. Ford is also working on an electric version of its popular F-150 pick-up truck.



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