Australia’s Electric Vehicle Landscape
Australia’s Electric Vehicle Landscape

Australia’s Electric Vehicle Landscape

October 2, 2023

Australia is lagging in electric vehicle (EV) adoption, with less than 5% of vehicles on the roads being electric. This figure is significantly lower than the global average of 15% observed in comparable countries. The Electric Vehicle Council highlights several barriers to EV adoption in Australia, including supply limitations, regulatory challenges, and a general lack of understanding regarding the nation’s growing EV infrastructure.

“Range anxiety,” or the fear of running out of battery with no charging stations in sight, is a significant hurdle for potential EV buyers in Australia. However, experts argue that this concern is exaggerated. With strategic planning and increased awareness of charging station locations, most Australians can confidently switch to EVs without compromising their driving routines.

Charging Electric Vehicles in Australia

Charging an electric vehicle in Australia is relatively straightforward for the approximately 70% of residents with access to off-street parking. These individuals can conveniently charge their vehicles at home. However, those without off-street parking may find the process more challenging, as not all apartment buildings offer communal charging stations.

Jake Whitehead, head of policy at the Electric Vehicle Council, emphasises the government’s crucial role in promoting EV charging stations’ installation and maintenance. Updated building codes, along with public and private investment in charging infrastructure, can significantly encourage EV adoption in Australia.

Public Charging Infrastructure

Australia offers various public charging stations, including ‘destination charging’ stations located in public spaces like shopping centres and parks, and ‘high-speed’ charging stations designed for long-distance travel. High-speed charging stations, although less common and more expensive, can fully charge a vehicle in approximately 15 minutes.

With around 5,000 public charging stations currently available, Australia meets the existing demand. However, as EV adoption increases, the need for more charging stations will grow exponentially. Experts estimate that one destination charger is needed for every ten EVs, and one high-speed charger is required for every 100 EVs.

Planning for Long-Distance Travel

For longer journeys, planning is essential. Most Australians drive less than 100 kilometres per day, while most EVs can travel between 350 to 400 kilometres on a single charge. Therefore, most drivers will only need to charge their vehicles once or twice a week for regular use. For extended trips, drivers can use platforms like Plugshare to plan routes with access to various charging stations.

The NSW government has recently adjusted its approach to EV policy, reducing subsidies for electric vehicle purchases while increasing funding for EV infrastructure. This shift aims to prepare New South Wales for a surge in EVs on the roads by investing in necessary infrastructure.


  1. How many electric vehicles are currently on the road in Australia?
    • Less than 5% of vehicles on Australian roads are electric.
  2. What is “range anxiety”?
    • It’s the fear of running out of battery with no charging stations available.
  3. How many public charging stations are available in Australia?
    • There are approximately 5,000 public charging stations.
  4. How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?
    • High-speed chargers can fully charge a vehicle in about 15 minutes.
  5. What role does the government play in promoting electric vehicles?
    • The government is crucial in funding infrastructure and encouraging the installation and maintenance of charging stations.

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