Another rebound in car sales, but EVs 'stagnant'

author-avatar By on March 03, 2021
Another rebound in car sales, but EVs 'stagnant'

February 2021's car sales figures were up 5.1%, but an electric vehicles group has lashed Australian governments' 'hostility' to electric vehicle uptake.

In February 2021, 83,977 new vehicles were sold, up from 79,940 in February last year, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' (FCAI) 'VFACTS' report.

However, these figures are still down on February 2019, when 87,102 vehicles were sold.

SUVs made up more than half of all new vehicles sold in February 2021, while light commercial vehicles (utes) made up 23%, with all but two top-ten sellers being a ute or SUV (details below).

The FCAI says this reflects a "continued shift in preference by consumers away from passenger vehicles", which fell 15.3% in February compared to February 2020.

The positive car sales data was buoyed by a strong uptick of sales in Queensland (+14.8%), Western Australia (+21.7%), and the Northern Territory (+32.7%).

However, the data was partially offset by falls in the ACT (-38.3%), Victoria (-8.7%), and Tasmania (-3.9%).

FCAI chief Tony Weber said the chamber remains "confident that this trend of growth will continue in an environment where business operating conditions continue to normalise."

The chamber's data coincides with the release of Australia's GDP figures for the December quarter, which indicated the purchase of vehicles increased 31.8% - the largest rise in the history of the GDP measurement, which dates back to the 1950s.

In the market for a new car? The table below features car loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market.

Top Ten Selling Vehicles, February 2021

  1. Toyota HiLux
  2. Ford Ranger
  3. Toyota RAV4
  4. Toyota Landcruiser
  5. Toyota Corolla
  6. Hyundai i30
  7. Mazda CX-5
  8. Isuzu Ute D-Max
  9. Mitsubishi Triton
  10. Mitsubishi ASX

Australia's "uniquely hostile" EV market

Electric Vehicle Council chief Behyad Jafari said Australia is a "uniquely hostile" market to electric vehicle (EV) uptake.

"Australian drivers are ready to join the exciting global electric car transition, but our politicians are yanking the handbrake," he said.

"We have no targets, no significant incentives, no fuel efficiency standards – and in Victoria we even have a new tax on non-emitting vehicles."

In 2020 there were about 6,900 EVs sold in Australia, a 2.7% increase from 2019, with EVs accounting for 0.7% of total Australian car sales.

This lags behind European countries, with the EU increasing its EV marketshare from 3.8% to 10.2% in a year, backed by strong sales in the United Kingdom and Norway.

The UK and Norway have introduced strict timelines to phase-out fuel-emitting vehicles, with Norway's as early as 2025.

In Norway, more than half of all new vehicles sold in 2020 were electric.

See Also: Electric Vehicle Incentives in Australia

Mr Jafari took aim at Victoria's road-use charge of 2.5c/km on EVs, slated to take effect from July this year.

"Victoria is now doing what no other jurisdiction on earth does by discouraging people from buying electric vehicles by slugging them with a special tax," he said.

"When this policy idea gets pushed by the oil lobby around the world, they typically get laughed out of the room. Tim Pallas [Victorian Treasurer] cut them a key to his office.

"The federal government’s inaction is bad, but even they’re not destructive enough to actively discourage electric vehicle uptake with a new tax."

However, certain motoring groups, such as the RACV, have backed the road charge.

"As the number of zero-emissions cars on our roads continues to grow, the EV tax will make up for lost fuel excise, so authorities can continue to fund and maintain Victoria’s roads," RACV senior engineer Nicholas Platt said.

“The technological shifts we’re seeing in the car market are good for consumers and the environment, but they are also going to significantly undermine the federal budget and its reliance on fuel-excise revenue to fund transport projects."

Under Victoria's road tax, EV drivers travelling 15,000km a year will pay $375, compared to a Toyota Camry driver consuming 8.3L/100km paying $526 in fuel excise a year.

However, Parliamentary figures indicate fuel excise revenue is declining anyway - it made up 39% of road-related revenue in 2013, compared to 44% a decade earlier, as more efficient vehicles came to market, and before the relative surge in EV uptake.

Motorists are also double-taxed on fuel, paying both GST and the fuel excise, which is reviewed, and usually increased, every six months.


Photo by Bram van Oost on Unsplash

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2019. They are (in descending order): Credit Union Australia, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

Some providers' products may not be available in all states.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*The Comparison rate is based on a $30,000 loan over 5 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

Latest Articles

author-avatar
Harrison joined Savings in 2020. He is an experienced journalist, with previous stints at News Corp and financial comparison site Canstar. With a keen interest in personal finance, Harrison is passionate about helping consumers make more informed financial decisions.

Collections:

Get free insights & tips monthly

By subscribing you agree to the Savings Privacy Policy

Loading data please wait...

{{returnData.productName}}

Overview

Current Rate

{{returnData.currentRate | percentage:2}}

Comparison Rate*

{{returnData.comparisonRate | percentage:2}}

Rate Type

{{returnData.rateType}}

Advertised Rate

{{returnData.advertisedInterestRate}}

Comparison Rate*

{{returnData.comparisonRate}}

Monthly Repayment

{{returnData.monthlyRepayment}}

Interest Type

{{returnData.interestType}}

Total Interest Rate

{{returnData.totalInterestRate | percentage:2}}

Base Interest Rate

{{returnData.baseInterestRate | percentage:2}}

Bonus Interest Rate

{{returnData.bonusInterestRate | percentage:2}}

Total Interest Rate

{{returnData.totalInterestRate | percentage:2}}

Introductory Rate

{{returnData.introductoryRate | percentage:2}}

Introductory Term

{{returnData.introductoryTerm}}

Base Interest Rate

{{returnData.baseInterestRate | percentage:2}}

Term

{{returnData.term}}

Advertised Interest Rate

{{returnData.advertisedInterestRate | percentage:2}}

Interest Frequency

{{returnData.interestFrequency}}


Fees and Features

Ongoing Annualised Fee

{{returnData.annualFee}}

Upfront Fee

{{returnData.upfrontFee}}

Offset Account

Redraw

Principal & Interest

Interest Only

N/A{{returnData.interestOnly}}

Max loan to value ratio (LVR)

{{returnData.maxLVR | percentage:0}}

Lump sum repayments

N/A

Additional repayments

Maximum Loan Term

{{returnData.maximumLoanTerm}}

Upfront Fee

${{returnData.upfrontFee}}

Ongoing Monthly Fee

{{returnData.ongoingFees}}

Early Repayment Fee Applies

N/A

Vehicle Types

{{returnData.vehicleType}}

Maximum Vehicle Age

{{returnData.maximumVehicleAge}}

Pre Approval Available

N/A

Online Application

N/A

Account Keeping Fee

{{returnData.accountKeepingFee}}

Minimum Monthly Deposit

{{returnData.minMonthlyDeposit}}

Linked Account Required

N/A

Interest Calculated

{{returnData.interestCalculated}}

Interest Paid

{{returnData.interestPaid}}

Online Application

N/A

ATM

N/A

EFTPOS

N/A

Account Keeping Fee

{{returnData.accountKeepingFee}}

Minimum Monthly Deposit

{{returnData.minMonthlyDeposit}}

Linked Account Required

N/A

Interest Calculated

{{returnData.interestCalculated}}

Interest Paid

{{returnData.interestPaid}}

Online Application

N/A

ATM

N/A

EFTPOS

N/A

Minimum Deposit

{{returnData.minDeposit | currency : '$' : 0}}

Upfront Fees

{{returnData.upfrontFee | currency : '$' : 0}}

Annual Fees

{{returnData.annualFee | currency : '$' : 0}}

Notice Period to Withdraw

{{returnData.noticePeriodToWithdraw}}

Online Application

N/A

Automatic Rollover

N/A

Maturity Alert

N/A