Largest ever survey of Australian EV owners shoots down range anxiety myth

Electric Vehicle Council

Australia’s largest ever survey of electric vehicle owners has found Tesla drivers are travelling the same average kilometres a year as everyone else.

A survey of 741 Tesla drivers, conducted by the Electric Vehicle Council and the Tesla Owners Club of Australia (TOCA), shows 89 per cent drove more than 10,000kms a year, while 38 per cent exceeded 20,000kms a year.

The national average for all passenger vehicles is 11,100kms annually.

The vast majority of drivers charge their vehicles during off-peak times, suggesting current market offers like time-of-use tariffs are working. The report also found:

  • 51 per cent of Tesla drivers were aged between 50 and 69, with just 12 per cent under 40

  • Volkswagen and Toyota were the most commonly previously owned car before a Tesla despite the leading EV brand being often considered luxury

  • Almost half of respondents saved more than $2000 on petrol a year, while 77 per cent saved more than $1000

  • Technology (83 per cent) and environment (78 per cent) were the most common reasons for buying a Tesla

  • 65 per cent did not have a regular servicing schedule and 41 per cent saved more than $1000 on maintenance costs

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said the study would be valuable for policy makers trying to boost Australia’s uptake of EVs.

“This study puts another nail in the coffin of the myth that driving range is an issue for EV owners with the vast majority driving the same average kilometres a year as Australia’s average passenger vehicle,” he said.

“We know range anxiety is a major impediment to people buying EVs. This finding is yet another reason showing there is nothing to fear.”

“EV owners are saving thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance costs. At a time when petrol and diesel prices are going through the roof, the Australian government must introduce long-overdue fuel efficiency standards to cut costs in the future and drive down emissions.

“The survey also found that only 10 per cent of respondents charged their vehicles at work indicating there is ample scope for employers to install charging infrastructure. If Australia introduced a fringe benefits tax exemption for workplace charging it would help align EV charging with daytime excess solar energy generation.”

Pete Thorne, President of TOCA said:

“This survey is an excellent starting point for understanding Australia’s Tesla drivers.

“With just 12 per cent of respondents aged under 40, there is the need to do more research to understand the preferences of younger drivers who may want to own an EV in the future.

“Tesla owners are saving thousands of dollars each year on fuel and maintenance costs.

“We’re calling on federal and state governments to take this research into account when deciding EV policy, which is a crucial part of Australia’s future.”

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