Cairns residents are leading the charge when it comes to electric vehicles.
New figures released in the Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) EV Index reveal EV registrations in the region grew from 45 in January 2021 to 282 in January 2023.
That’s up more than 500 per cent, and is the biggest growth recorded in regional Queensland closely followed by Townsville.
RACQ’s Head of Public Policy Dr Michael Kane says there are a number of factors driving this uptake.
“Over the past 12 months there’s been an influx of new electric vehicle models on the Australian market, driving down prices through competition,” Dr Kane says.
“More recently we’ve seen State Government rebates increased for new EV purchases and in January 2023 the Federal Government brought in Fringe Benefit Tax exemptions on novated leasing for EVs.
“These things will continue to make EVs more affordable for motorists who want to drive cleaner and safer cars.”
Dr Kane adds while numbers across regional Queensland are a good start, range anxiety is still a huge issue holding Queenslanders back from making the leap to electric.
“Ensuring no Queenslander is left behind in the transition to more sustainable transport is crucial and that means investing in charging infrastructure,” he says.
“As well as building a new charging station at Carseldine in Brisbane, RACQ is co-funding seven new fast charging sites in Cairns, Mackay, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Toowoomba and Mitchell with the Queensland Government.
“The Queensland Government co-funding program is set to see 46 charging sites across more than 30 mostly regional locations up and running by the end of 2024.”