Australians would choose EVs over traditional cars, but only just
If an electric vehicle and a traditional (petrol/diesel) car of the same model were sold at the same price, which would Aussies choose to purchase?
Just over half of Australian respondents (51.9%) said they’d prefer an EV, compared to 35.7% who said they’d still favour a traditional petrol or diesel vehicle. Around 1 in 10 drivers (12.4%) don’t have a preference either way.
While a marginal difference, it seems as though a preference for EVs in Australia is increasing. Compared to similar research conducted by Compare the Market in 2022, 2.36% more Australian drivers would now opt for an EV, while preference for traditional models dipped by 1.38%.
Australians would pay roughly the same for an EV or traditional car
While EVs have historically been much more expensive than traditional vehicles in Australia, the latest data shows that Aussies would pay around the same price for each type of vehicle. In fact, the average price Australians think we should pay for an EV is AU$46,470, vs AU$43,081 for a traditional car. That’s a difference of just AU$3,389. As EVs become cheaper and more available, we expect the price to drop significantly over time.
Older Millennials more likely to opt for EVs, but Zoomers prefer tradition
People between 35 and 44 are the age group most likely to opt for an EV if price wasn’t a factor (at a rate of 58.1%), compared to just 40% of Gen Zers.
Perhaps surprisingly, Aussie Zoomers are the most likely to opt for traditional vehicles (44.3%) or have no preference around the type of vehicle they’d purchase. Men are nearly 8% more likely than women to desire EVs (55.8% vs 48.2% of women).
Charging availability the biggest barrier for Australians
As for reasons why EVs aren’t more popular, Australians listed charging availability, battery life and replacement costs as they key reasons why they wouldn’t make the switch to electric. In fact, as many as two-thirds of Australians (62%) are worried about charging and battery life.
Around one in three Australians (29.6%) worry that EVs are more expensive to insure, while 22.9% believe there are safety concerns with the new-age vehicles.
The data also shows that:
- 56.9% are concerned about purchase price (down from 66.6% last October)
- 52.6% are worried about the time it takes to charge an EV
- 52.5% say the driving range is one of the biggest barriers for purchase
United States of America
Sticking to tradition
Even if cost wasn’t a barrier, one in two Americans say they’d choose a petrol or diesel model of a car over an EV equivalent.
Almost 40% (39.7%) of the population would opt for an EV, while 9% have no preference. Compared to last year, the preference for EVs in America has grown from 33.8%, while traditional cars’ popularity remains largely unchanged.
US drivers would pay substantially more for EVs than Australians and Canadians
Despite having less preference for them, drivers in the United States are more willing than those in Australia and Canada to pay more for an EV. On average, US drivers would be prepared to pay AU$64,721 (US$43,976), which is AU$18,251 more than the average for Australia, and AU$15,495 more than Canadians.
Millennials vs Boomers: Who prefers what?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, American Baby Boomers are the generation most likely to prefer a traditional petrol or diesel car (70.8%), while Millennials aged between 25 and 34 are most likely to prefer EVs (65.1%). Meanwhile, the generational middle child Gen X is the generation most likely to have no preference either way.
Men are nearly 8% more likely than women to desire EVs (55.8% vs 48.2% of women).
Americans put off by battery life of EVs
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (59.3%) say the battery life and replacement cost is the biggest barrier to going electric, which has increased slightly from 56.4% last October.
Around half of Americans are concerned about the availability of EV chargers, the driving range of their vehicles and the time it takes to charge an electric car – all ahead of the purchase price of an EV, which concerns around 47.8% of the population.
Conversely, Americans are least concerned about any difficulties they face insuring their EV (15.9%), understanding the technology (20.2%) and impacts on lifestyle, such as towing, driving off-road or extreme weather capabilities (21.9%).
Canadians more likely than Americans to opt for EVs, but price is still a concern
They’re both part of North America, but unlike drivers from the US, Canadians are more likely to want an EV. In fact, 49.9% of Canadians would choose an EV over a traditional car, compared to around 40% of Americans.
However, as many as 56.9% of Canadians see purchase price as the biggest barrier preventing them from investing in EVs. Just under 40% are concerned about the potential cost of charging, while around a third (28.4%) say the cost to insure an EV would put them off purchasing one.
Canadians would still pay more for an EV
Despite the price point being a major concern for Canadians, the data shows they’d still be prepared to pay more for an EV than a traditional car. On average, Canadians say AU$49,226 (CA$44,605) is reasonable for an EV, while AU$43,652 (CA$39,547) is a fair price for a traditional car.
However, it’s worth pointing out that younger generations think EVs should have a higher price tag. On average, Zoomers would pay AU$57,198 (CA$51,854), while their Baby Boomer counterparts would fork out AU$39,117 (CA$35,464) – a difference of AU$18,081 (CA$16,390).
Interest in EVs similar – no matter your age
Unlike the US or Australia, where there’s been a clear preference between EVs or traditional cars between generations, things are more equal between Canada’s generations. In fact, preference for modern car technology sits highest for Gen Z at 55.9% and lowest at 45.9% for Baby Boomers.
However, close to one in five Canadian Millennials (16.3%) say they wouldn’t prefer one type of car make over the other.
Power plays a role for Canadians
Similar to Australia and the US, Canadians say that the availability of charging locations, battery life and charging times are among the biggest barriers stopping them from purchasing an EV.
The data found that some of the lower concerns for Canadians include:
- Understanding of the technology: 16.9%
- Lack of options for different lifestyles (e.g. towing and extreme weather capabilities): 21.1%
- Difficulty of insuring the vehicle: 8.9%