Study proves the myth of driving range anxiety among Australian EV owners  

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Tesla

EV sceptics have been dealt a blow thanks to new research that “puts the nail in the coffin of the myth” that driving range is an issue for electric vehicle owners. 

The Electric Vehicle Council and the Tesla Owners Club of Australia (TOCA) surveyed 741 Tesla drivers and found that 89 per cent drove more than 10,000kms a year, while 38 per cent exceeded 20,000kms a year. The Australian national average for all passenger vehicles is 11,000kms annually. 

In other words, Tesla drivers are travelling the same average kilometres a year as everyone else. 

Furthermore, the vast majority of drivers charge their vehicles during off-peak times, suggesting current market offers like time-of-use tariffs are working. 

Behyad Jafari, CEO at the Electric Vehicle Council, said the study would be valuable for policymakers trying to boost Australia’s uptake of EVs.

“We know EV driving 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.”

Study proves the myth of driving range anxiety among Australian EV owners  
Tesla owners are driving as far as Australians driving any other type of vehicle. Image: Tesla Owners Club of Australia.

Another finding of the study is that just 10 per cent of the Tesla owners surveyed charge their vehicles at work, suggesting the 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, has called on federal and state governments to take the research into account when determining policies related to EVs, “which are a crucial part of Australia’s future”. 

Of the owners surveyed, 51 per cent were aged between 50 and 69, with just 12 per cent under 40. Thorne said that ratio suggests there is a need for more research to understand the preferences of younger drivers who may want to own an EV in the future.

The vast majority of respondents cited technology (83 per cent) and environment (78 per cent) as the reason they had bought a Tesla. Almost half of the respondents said they saved more than $2000 on petrol a year, while 77 per cent saved more than $1000.

Further reading: Could EVs help power homes? Tesla owners invited to join global research.

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill is a content writer with more than 30 years of experience in five countries. His style has built upon award-winning success in news and features in the print media to leadership in digital communication, spanning news websites, social media, magazines, brochures, and contributing to books. Recognising the devastating impact of consumer behaviour on the planet and wanting to help make a difference Robert launched Viable.Earth as a platform to celebrate positive contributions by brands, companies and individuals towards reducing environmental impact and improve sustainability – especially in the fields of fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, and transportation.

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