In the Land Down Under, plug-in vehicles aren't faring well.
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:
- Nissan LEAF - 188
- Holden Volt - 101