2013 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales in Australia


Nissan LEAF is Likely Australia's Only Volume Selling EV

Nissan LEAF is Likely Australia’s Only Volume Selling EV

In the Land Down Under, plug-in vehicles aren’t faring well.

Will the BMW i3 Accelerate EV Sales in Australia?

Will the BMW i3 Accelerate EV Sales in Australia?

For all of 2013, only 304 plug-in vehicles were sold in Australia.

Of the 304, over 66% were purchased by fleets, thus leaving less than 100 for purchase by private buyers.

As we’ve mentioned before, price is a big issue for EVs in Australia:

“When the LEAF first launched in Australia, it was priced at $51,500 AUD ($53,100 US), but in December of 2012, Nissan cut the price down to a more reasonable $46,990 AUD ($48,465 US).  Then, in mid-2013, Nissan cut the price even more.  The LEAF is now available for a “drive away” price of $39,990 AUD ($41,200 US).

“The LEAF faces slim competition in Australia, with only the $48,800 AUD ($50,332 US) Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the $59,990 AUD ($61,874 US) Holden Volt considered actual rivals there.”

In 2012, only 257 plug-in vehicles were sold in Australia.  In 2011, only 55 were sold.

BMW will soon launch its i3 in Australia and it too will likely not be a success.  Why?  Price.  BMW is expected to announce a $60,000-plus base MSRP for the i3 in Australia. Then there’s the Tesla Model S, which will launch in Australia this year at a price of around $200,000.  It too won’t sell in volume.

Price is certainly a major issue in Australia, but there’s an even bigger one that’s stalling out the EV market there: virtually no public charging infrastructure.  Look for us to report 2014 plug-in vehicle sales in Australia with likely little significant improvement from the 304 sold in 2013.

2013 Sales Leaders:

  1. Nissan LEAF – 188
  2. Holden Volt – 101

Source: The Australian

Categories: Sales


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15 Comments on "2013 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales in Australia"

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Why are the prices so high there? I mean only 304 sold for the whole year? That’s crazy.

Long distances in Australia are probably more to blame for low demand of electric vehicles. Tesla will change that with Model S and E and especially its Australian supercharger network.

Australians are rich as pigs, so they have enough purchasing power to pay high premium from cars.

most people here don’t typically commute from Perth to Melbourne or live deep in the wilderness. 95%+ Australians live in town and commute a short distance to work every day with fewer than 10% using public transport so I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that sitting in traffic is a national pass-time. There is no cold weather, everyone has a garage or car port and it is only really hot in most of the major urban centers for short periods.

Australia is technically ideal for EV’s. Why people don’t buy EV’s or even just better regular cars (most drive enormous inefficient saloons) I have no idea. Most haven’t even heard about EV’s.


I am an Australian and I am not “rich like a pig”.

Ev cars are too expensive and until they have price parity with ordinary cars, people will ignore them.

Like another person said, australia is the most urbanised country in the world and most of the population lives in cities. Fuel costs and taxes are high so there is a potential huge market for these vehicles. The entry price needs to come down.

I recently bought a new Volkswagen Golf 7 for $28990 drive away and it is very well equipped. I considered a leaf but could not justify it’s high price.

I do have a LEAF, I waited for the price drop, I can assure you I’m also one of the Australians that is clearly NOT ‘rich as a pig’.

We pay premium prices for everything. Even when our cost of living and wages are taken into consideration or prices are still on the high side.

Jouni, where do you reside to be able to have formed this opinion of us?

Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden and Denmark are the five richest industrialized countries along side with the seven richest US states. So definitely Australians are rich as pigs compared to other countries.

that $200k reference for Model S pricing is just uneducated nonsense. As Tesla stated that Tesla will not take premium in markets where it would be possible, because Tesla wants to cultivate its ethical imago (like Google does). Therefore Tesla will sell 85 kWh version in about $80 000 AUD + taxes. My guess is also that they will not offer 60 kWh version in Australia.

I do not know what is the car taxing / import tariff system in Australia, but I am confident that it is less than 30 %.

The big news for Australia is likely to be PHEVs, not BEVs.
When the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hits their sales outlets, it should sell Gangbusters.

The prices they send to journalists are missing the on-road and delivery fees. I bought a Nissan LEAF in July 2012 and it was $58,500, then I bought a Chargepoint wall charger for $3000. Having the purchase price drop to $39,990 is good as it is near the cost of a Toyota Prius. Tho cars are expensive in Australia, the resale value remains higher (plus we tend to keep cars much longer). Also, there is a luxury car tax, so expensive cars become even more expensive.

– Car manufactures are Price gouging consumers !!! Nothing but greed. Why spend $60k on a Volt when I can buy a Kia Cerato for $22k approx.
– Australian’s have very high costs of living standard compared to the rest of the world. We are NOT RICH, we earn more because cost of living standards are hight therefore, we also spend more !!!
– Dumb Prime Minister running a backwards thinking dumb Australian Government who’s anti-green “everything”.
– EV are NOT being pushed or advertised as very little demand here (mainly due to cost), compared to other countries. Also, No EV infrastructure.
– Majority of people live near cities or near the coast line.
– Personally, I’d love an EV but they are too expensive.

I also can’t believe some of the comments on here are absolute bullshit and have no reasoning. People commenting for the sake of commenting. Yes, I live in Australia.

Chris, everything is expensive in Australia because wages are so high in Australia. Do you now understand that it is very good for the country if everything is expensive? If goods were very cheap compared to average GDP per capita, then it would mean that particular country is a slave economy, where labor costs are almost zero and wealth is concentrated in the hands of few. Therefore the higher the cost of living, the more equal is the income distribution — this as a rule of thumb.

Why some imported cars are expensive in Australia, is just corporate greed, because they take premium because they can. Luckily Tesla is not a greedy company.

What’s the breakdown of EV sales by vehicle?

Yeah, we probably should have added in some of those stats (will do that now). Basically it is a two horse race: Nissan LEAF – 188, Holden Volt – 101 with a handful of i-MiEVs thrown in

I find this disscussion interesting as an American living for the past two years in Sydney. Yes cars are really expensive in Australia no doubt about it but so are they in Europe as compared to the US. To my fellow Americans I would advise them they live in the land of cheap but don’t really know that for the most part. Yes wages are a higher in Australia than the US, google median income and both countries if you want to see the difference (especially at the lower end). As some of the Aussies commented above Australian’s live in cities and E.V.’s would make sense especially as second cars, but not sure if most Aussies know this but electricity is anywhere between 2 and 3 times as much in OZ (petrol double) than the US negating some advantages, but the adoption of solar is much higher (at least in Sydney) than anywhere I have ever seen in the US. I would challenge my Aussie math (maths) experts to build a spread sheet taking all of the economic’s of a leaf versus a comparable petrol version and figure out what purchase price the leaf has to decline to to put… Read more »