A report from the Electric Vehicle Council, a lobby group for the sector, said a majority (76%) of last year's sales were battery electric vehicles, with the remainder being plug-in hybrid vehicles.
But sales in Australia were very low compared to other developed countries, the report noted, with Norway (74% of all light vehicle sales), the UK (10.7%), China (6.2%) and the US (2.3%) well ahead.
Globally, the EVC said, electric vehicles made up 4.2% of light vehicle sales in 2020, up from 2.5% in 2019.
Thirty-one EV models from 12 manufacturers were available in Australia now, compared to 28 in July last year. Fourteen models cost less than $65,000, up from eight last year.
"Several carmakers have now set timelines to become 100% electric: Jaguar Land Rover (2025), Volvo (2030), Mazda (2030), Ford in Europe (2030), Nissan (early 2030s), GM (2035), Daimler (2039), and Honda (2040)," the report said.
"Other carmakers have committed to electric vehicle model targets. By 2025, Audi will have 30 electric vehicle models available, Hyundai will have 23 models, Groupe Renault will have 24 models, and GM will have 30 models. The Volkswagen Group will have 70 new electric models available by 2028."
The report pointed out that manufacturers were sending more plug-in hybrid vehicle models (17) than battery electric vehicle models (14) to Australia, with the biggest vehicle segment being the SUV, reflecting internal combustion engine vehicle purchasing behaviour in the country.
Though the number of new models in the market had not grown much in the last 12 months, manufacturers were now confirming supply of new models into Australia.
"It is therefore expected that by the end of 2022, Australians will have access to 27 additional electric vehicle models, with a predicted 20 battery electric vehicles and seven plug-in hybrid vehicles entering the market. This will see an expected total of 58 passenger electric vehicle models available in Australia," the report added.
The 30-page report, which can be downloaded free here, contains information about the models available in Australia, charging stations and different government policies on EVs.
"At a federal level, we are continuing to see a lack of leadership and action on electric vehicles," said EVC chief executive Behyad Jafari. "After promising a national strategy two years ago, the Federal Government has failed to deliver.
"We have also seen how state governments can put in place policies that actively worsen the playing field for electric vehicles."
Screenshots courtesy Electric Vehicle Council.