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Upfront costs and charging struggles: ANZ’s top barriers to EV adoption

A recent study conducted by Pureprofile Limited reveals that high upfront costs, a scarcity of public charging infrastructure, and range anxiety are the primary impediments to electric vehicle (EV) adoption in Australia and New Zealand.

The research, conducted in August 2023 with over 2,000 Australian and 1,000 New Zealand respondents, provides insights into the challenges facing the EV market in the region.

In Australia, only 3% of vehicle owners currently use EVs, with 89% driving petrol-powered vehicles, 15% driving diesel vehicles, and 4% using hybrid vehicles. In contrast, New Zealand has a higher rate of EV adoption, with 11% of vehicle owners using EVs. The majority of New Zealanders still drive petrol vehicles (83%), while 12% own diesel vehicles, and 8% have hybrid vehicles.

Despite the environmental benefits and fuel cost savings associated with EVs, adoption rates in Australia and New Zealand lag significantly behind other developed nations, such as Norway, Iceland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and China.

Barriers to adoption

High upfront costs pose a significant barrier to EV adoption in both countries, with 39% of Australians and 52% of New Zealanders citing this as a key obstacle. Rising living costs also hinder EV purchases, with 65% of Australians and 66% of New Zealanders reporting such concerns.

Charging infrastructure is another challenge. Many respondents (36% in Australia and 25% in New Zealand) feel there are insufficient charging stations. Australians, in particular, are anxious about running out of battery power during journeys, with 78% considering roadside assistance important, and 65% willing to pay extra for insurance covering towing for a flat battery.

Despite New Zealand’s relatively strong public charging network, similar concerns exist, with 76% considering roadside assistance essential and 68% willing to pay extra for it.

Call for government investment

The study underscores the need for substantial government investment in EV infrastructure, including the expansion of charging station networks and the promotion of renewable energy sources. Businesses, especially insurance companies, need to stay informed about evolving EV attitudes and considerations in light of developments such as the High Court quashing Victoria’s EV levy. Market research is vital to ensure stakeholders remain responsive to an environmentally-conscious society.

Pureprofile’s Managing Director APAC, Anna Meiler, emphasizes the demand for sustainability in the transportation sector and highlights the potential for a sustainable future with the right investments and stakeholder cooperation.

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