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