(Australian Associated Press)
Australians are embracing electric vehicles like never before with a big jump in the number registered across the country, latest figures have revealed.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says the number of electric vehicles registered in Australia rose by more than 62 per cent to 23,128 in the 12 months to the end of January this year.
At the same time, the total vehicle fleet rose by just 1.7 per cent to 20.1 million.
The fleet rose in all states and territories with Queensland, South Australia and the ACT posting the biggest increases at 2.3 per cent.
NSW continues to have the most vehicles on the road with 5,892,206 followed by Victoria on 5,157,172 and Queensland on 4,303.713.
Together the three eastern states account for 76 per cent of all vehicles.
Despite the uptake in new electric cars, the average age of the Aussie fleet rose from 10.4 years to 10.6 years.
ABS Director of Transport Statistics Rob Walter said the increase in the number of vehicles on Australia’s road had pushed the vehicle fleet above 20 million for the first time.
He said registrations of electric vehicles had surged for the second year in a row.
It came despite some states moving towards an electric car tax or charge to replace any lost fuel excise, but also amid a rapid expansion of charging infrastructure across the country.
The overall rise of the vehicle fleet also defied the sharp downturn in new vehicles sales early last year when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The new car market recovered strongly in the second half of 2020 while sales of used cars also rose as more people opted to update their vehicles after travel restrictions ruled out the prospect of overseas holidays.
Diesel registrations increased, rising to 26.4 per cent of all vehicles, however petrol registrations still account for a majority of the fleet at 71.7 per cent.
Electric vehicles account for less than two per cent.
Among the car brands, Toyota has the most vehicles on the road with 2,978,505, ahead of Holden on 1,575,483 and Mazda on 1,310,979.