Growing demand for green cars in Australia

Demand for green cars on Australian roads is increasing among certain community groups following years of decline, according to the latest figures from Roy Morgan Research.

In 2009, 31 per cent of Australian drivers agreed that they would 'seriously consider buying a fully electric (plug-in) vehicle'. However, over the next three years this desire waned as just 24 per cent were making the same consideration in 2012.

This fall in demand came in spite of the industry leading Holden Volt, Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-Miev landing on our shores during that time. Rather than place the blame on the green cars available on the market, Geoffrey Smith, general manager of consumer products at Roy Morgan Research, attributes this decline to a number of alternative causes.

"Many factors are contributing to a decline in Australians even considering an electric car, not the least being rising electricity prices. Low sales volumes demonstrate that 'serious consideration' by consumers has not yet found an outlet for purchase," he explained in a March 14 media release.

The rising electricity prices must be a serious consideration for any fleet manager considering adding electric cars to their fleet. While electricity remains more cost effective than conventional fuel in the long run, climbing prices could lead to unbalanced costs in the future.

However, while the proportion of Australia's overall population considering green cars remained steady at 24 per cent in 2013, certain groups across the country has reported a growing interest in full-electric and hybrid vehicles.

According to Roy Morgan, those who believe environmentally-friendly products are reasonably priced and Australian households with an annual income over $120,000 each experienced an increased consideration for fully electric cars, climbing by 2 and 3 per cent respectively.

Mr Smith believes this growing interest in electric cars may have been sparked by the imminent arrival of the acclaimed Tesla Model S full electric sedan - capable of storing up to three to four days' worth of energy purely from solar panels or off-peak grid consumption.