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Passing on petrol: Fuel prices drive 2.6 million Australians to consider EVs

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Soaring petrol prices are causing millions of Aussies to consider ditching the fuel pump altogether, according to new research by Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,058 respondents found volatile petrol prices are the reason 13% of Australians – equivalent to 2.6 million people – want to ditch conventional cars.

The research shows 1 in 5 (21%) would consider making the switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) because it's better for the environment, while 4% say they already drive a hybrid or electric car.

Many Aussies are still sceptical about electric cars, with 26% saying they are too expensive and 7% saying charging stations are too few and far between.

Another 14% say they simply prefer conventional cars.

Gary Ross Hunter, insurance expert at Finder, said ditching petrol is a great way to save on fuel while doing your part for the environment.

"Electric cars are starting to replace conventional cars as we make the inevitable shift towards more sustainable fuel sources.

"Australia is behind other countries like New Zealand when it comes to EV adoption, but Aussies are slowly getting on board."

Hunter said the upfront cost is a major barrier for most, but there are ways to save.

"Many people associate electric cars with Tesla, whose models can set you back well beyond six figures. But there are more affordable models out there, starting from around $45,000 for EVs and $27,000 for hybrids.

"We've seen the prices of electric and hybrid cars get lower over the last decade as technology improves, and as demand grows, the costs will continue to drop and more charging stations will continue to pop up.

"In the immediate term, too, your fuel costs will drop. If you're saving around $50 to $100 a week on fuel, that can help balance out the extra cost of your car repayment."

Previous Finder analysis found EV owners are better off by $1,126 per year, or $13,516 over the average car ownership period of 11 years, even after accounting for the vehicle purchase price.

In New South Wales drivers can save up to $5,540 through a combination of rebates and bypassing stamp duty, while drivers in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia can benefit from subsidies of $3,000 off the purchase price.

Hunter said it's not just EV car owners who can look for financial benefits.

"Whether you're going electric or sticking with conventional cars, comparing car insurance policies is one of the best ways to save money on the road."

Given the increase in petrol prices, are you more likely to consider a hybrid or electric car for your next car?
No, they are too expensive26%
Yes, they are better for the planet21%
I don't ever plan to buy another car15%
No, I prefer conventional cars14%
Yes, petrol prices are too volatile13%
No, it's too hard to find charging stations7%
I already drive a hybrid or electric car4%
Source: Finder nationally representative survey of 1,058 respondents, August 2022

Methodology

  • Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker is a monthly recurring nationally representative survey of more than 30,000 respondents.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Tracker is owned by Finder and operated by Qualtrics, an SAP company.
  • The survey has been running monthly since May 2019.

Thinking of making the switch to an EV? Check out Finder's electric car ownership guide.

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