Why car dealers don’t want to sell electric vehicles

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New study pin-points yet another barrier to the global shift to EVs – and it’s coming up at the point of sale. The research adds a new party to the list of incumbent industry groups whose business case is being threatened by EVs: car dealers.

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The Pope drives one. Prince Harry drives one. Even the CEO of global oil “super-major” Total drives one.

But electric vehicles – which Bloomberg New Energy Finance sees making up 55 per cent of all new car sales globally by 2040, and being cheaper to make than internal combustion engine cars by 2030 – still have a number of major hurdles to negotiate.

And, as we know all too well here in Australia, some countries face a tougher task that others, where universal barriers like cost, infrastructure, and consumer lag are being exacerbated by lack of supporting policy incentives, and the push-back from powerful vested interests.

But according to a new study published in Nature Journal this week, there’s another “largely unexplored” and fairly significant barrier to EV uptake – and it’s happening at the point of sale.

A team of researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark visited 82 car dealerships across Scandinavia posing as potential shoppers, and found that sales personnel were dismissive of electric vehicles, misinformed consumers about them, and encouraged the purchase of petrol and diesel vehicles instead.

In some cases, they found, EVs were omitted from sales pitches entirely, despite the fact that the vast majority of all major global auto makers now offer multiple electric vehicle options, with some, like Volvo, committing to switch their entire fleet to electric or hybrid electric starting next year.

“(Gerardo) Zarazua de Rubens and colleagues’ study provides much-needed insight into this area through an extensive mystery shopping exercise that spans 15 cities in five Nordic countries,” the report says.

“By quantifying their experiences as potential customers and recording key quotations from sales personnel, …(they) demonstrate that sales interactions are unlikely to result in EV purchase because sales personnel are dismissive of EVs, provide incorrect information and strongly orient customers to other options.”

The team also interviewed 30 different industry experts, who corroborated the study’s findings, describing EVs as both harder to sell and less incentivised, in that they were expected to produce lower profits for the dealerships.

That’s because electric vehicles – with significantly fewer moving parts – require far less servicing than fossil fuelled ICE cars.

“While an added benefit of EV technology for the user is a substantial reduction in routine maintenance and repairs, this also represents a further disincentive for the dealer to promote EV technology because they rely heavily on income from repairs and maintenance as part of their revenue model,” the report says.

On top of this, the study found, sales personnel do not receive adequate training on electric vehicles that would support effective sales strategies.

This means that consumers who are not already well informed about or interested in electric vehicles, and who might see one for the first time at a car dealership, are unlikely to have experiences that encourage them to purchase one.

This is certainly supported by anecdotal evidence in Australia, where even if car dealers were enthusiastic about EVs (they are not) there just aren’t the cars there to sell.

As recently as March this year, there were only five pure electric vehicles available for purchase by Australian consumers, three of which fall into the luxury vehicle segment in terms of cost.

But perhaps the clearest message from the Danish study’s findings is that it is not just the global oil industry, and established car manufacturers, who stand to lose out from the global shift to EVs – and who therefore might be actively resisting it.

We can now add to that list another major industry group whose business case is being threatened by EVs: car dealers.

This particular lobby group’s muscle has been most obviously flexed in the US, where local EV maker Tesla has been legally prohibited from setting up dealerships in a number of states, due to an easily exploited quirk of that country’s franchise laws.

It’s also worth noting that if these are the results being returned in Scandinavian countries – the study is based on 126 sales interactions in car dealerships across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – then the situation is likely to be far worse in countries like Australia.

Because, of course, car dealers are not operating in a vacuum. The study found that the pitch on the sales floor was highly influenced by signals from both industry and policy – neither of which are what you would call progressive in Australia.

“EV adoption in places like China, Norway and the United States (where half of all EV sales are in California) are driven by policies that strongly encourage EV adoption,” the Nature journal report says.

In Norway, for example, the cost of purchasing an EV is subsidised, and EV drivers have access to bus lanes and enjoy free parking.

This kind of policy has seen the Scandinavian country, which also happens to be a major oil producer, become the closest in the world, in relative terms, to bringing EVs to the mainstream, the study says.

By the end of 2016, 5 per cent of all registered passenger cars in Norway were plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), and one-quarter of sales of new vehicles are PEVs.

Australia, meanwhile, has zero federal government incentives driving EV uptake and instead relies on the varied efforts of the states and territories.

Last year we witnessed that even the prospect of introducing nation-wide vehicle emissions standards – basic policy practice in most of the rest of the world – had the local Conservative media dubbing it as a “carbon tax on cars.”

As Greens Senator Janet Rice put it earlier this year, “We’ve got a (government) that is beholden to vested interests and old technologies; people who just want the status quo to continue.

“Energy minister Josh Frydenberg has just recently been talking really big on EVs, but his party is saying that they are going to make up 15 per cent of new vehicle sales by 2030, which is just pathetic.”

And if this is the status quo at the policy level, it’s unlikely there’s any sort of EV revolution happening on the salesroom floor.

So what can be done to change this?

The study concludes that industry and policy incentives are necessary to create the right market conditions to encourage sales personnel to promote electric vehicles to consumers, rather than dismiss them.

In particular, policy and business strategies that addressed these barriers at the point of sale were needed to accelerate EV adoption.

“There is clear evidence that EV policies can have a substantial impact on the adoption of EVs,” the report says.

“The study by Zarazua de Rubens et al. indicates that we need to turn our attention to developing ‘pull’ policies for dealerships to stay on track for large-scale adoption of EV technology.”

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105 Comments
  1. Richard Hayes 6 months ago

    Why would you sell stuff that makes you less money?

    • MaxG 6 months ago

      or even puts you out of business.

    • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

      Because soon, you won’t have anything else but EV’s to sell, that’s why.

  2. MaxG 6 months ago

    LOL … ROFL… this is one of this ‘if you stop breathing you’ll die stories’.
    It is plain obvious, but it sounds better when we can cite research.

    We live in the area of vulture capitalism, which goes like this: ‘shove as much of your existing product down the throat of your customer’. And ‘why stop with a good thing?’

    Why would any car dealer in their right mind sell an EV? … in particular when the writing is on the wall: Direct sales (as practised by Tesla).
    An EV means hardly any service, hardly anything that goes kaputt. They can close their service centres, where the money is made, not in sales (when looking closely at how the wholesale market works). Less parts with built in obsolescence, like starter batteries, which stop working after the warranty period. Enough said… 🙂

    • Punter 6 months ago

      Hey Max, where is the evidence that anything that is mass-produced, never goes wrong, requires warranty or service? Direct sales simply do not work for Tesla, thus their dealerships in Australia, if car dealerships were the issue why do they exist? Next thing you will be telling us people do not like to see and touch things before they buy…bloody car dealerships, they are a conspiracy, just like your theory on this one! Sorry mate, just doesn’t add up!

      • Doug 6 months ago

        Hi,
        we have owned an EV for 4.5 years & 75000Km. This is an early design (compared to ones reaching the market now) & is limited. We live in the country, so no local dealer to service the car either (it must go to Southport, about 160Kms away). My wife drives the car to work & back: a distance of about 75Kms. We charge overnight because there is no charge infrastructure locally, except near Byron Bay.
        We love our little car! Quiet & cheap to run.

        The NRMA is starting to install charge stations, & once the cars become more common, the public car parks & service centres will install charging. This is the chicken & egg scenario Evs sold means more demand for charging infrastructure which hopefully will be met quickly.
        My prediction is that EVs will become more common in the next 5 years in Australia. The modern ones charge quickly on a fast charger, & overnight on a 3 phase 32A charge point at home, or more slowly on a single phase. (Overnight on single phase at 32A will give 75Kw which is possibly at least a 300Km range depending on the vehicle, at a cost of say $24 for power)
        Due to the number of EV sales in Europe & Asia, the development costs per vehicle will drop, so reducing the vehicle cost. Inversely, the cost of ICE cars will rise due to the reduction in sales numbers. I feel within 10 years the EVs will be possibly cheaper than ICE cars (due to one cost graph going up & the other one reducing: at some time they will cross).
        The economics of EVs are that they are cheaper to maintain, making the TCO (Total cost of ownership) lower. I also feel that in the cities, some people will choose to share/lease a car instead of owning one. Once we have autonomous (self driving) cars, it should be possible to book a car to arrive at work when you are leaving, then you drive home, etc, then the car toodles off to another client, or goes to a charger. You then do not need charging infrastructure at home, nor a car park! (Many young people no longer own cars, I think that trend may accelerate)
        Vive la Revolution!
        Doug (Lismore, NSW)

      • MaxG 6 months ago

        I didn’t claim what you want evidence for…
        Tesla owns their dealerships in AU. (hence = direct sales)
        Their sales do work without any dealership when you look at 450,000 reservations of the Model 3.
        No hard feelings if it doesn’t add up for you; neither does it for most Australians and their leadership. 🙂

      • maxlyrical 6 months ago

        I bought my Tesla from the website 3 and a half years ago, sight unseen.
        -Never even seen one. Pricey too. Had to wait 5 months for it.
        Have driven on pure sunlight ever since. Just had my first service at 55,000kms. Full systems check, new bits and pieces, wheel alignment, wiper blades, screenwash etc. Cost me $200.
        Don’t know of any disillusioned Tesla drivers -and I know many.
        The battery loses around 10% over 250,000 kms, then very gradually.
        The motor is rated for 1,000,000 miles.
        Tesla dealerships are essentially showrooms and service.
        Ads up nicely thank you.

  3. DevMac 6 months ago

    Dealers, car sales folks. These are relatively close to ground zero on the effects of electric vehicles, hence the resistance could well be expected. The ripples will be far reaching, and resistance will be felt at many layers down the line.

  4. Tim Forcey 6 months ago

    WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR

    In the documentary film “Who Killed the Electric Car?” they laid out the possible suspects.

    Yeah I always thought it was when the car companies got the feedback from the garages at their dealerships re how little maintenance was required – the jig was up!

    • Joe 6 months ago

      Didn’t GM have a go years ago before they pulled the pin and killed off the first Volt.

      • Tim Forcey 6 months ago

        Exactly. EV-1. Check out the documentary film. Riveting! But yeah, GM would have said yeah let’s play around with these EV-1 thingies for a bit, could be fun… and then at one point the head of dealer-garage-maintenance went to the CEO and said something along the lines of W T F.

      • Tyson Laes 6 months ago

        yea about 1998 they did a vt style car .its up at birdwood motor museum

  5. Patrick Comerford 6 months ago

    What a contrast, this EV experience centre in this Fullycharged video says it all really how captive Australia’s EV market is to a do nothing government and a car industry with its head stuck firmly up its arse.

  6. Neil_Copeland 6 months ago

    As all major countries, the bigger markets, switch to EV’s I can’t see the car manufacturers building small quantities of ICE vehicles just to satisfy the backward countries like Australia, it just won’t be economical for them. It may take a decade, but Australia will be dragged kicking and screaming into EV’s eventually.

    • Punter 6 months ago

      Finally, some sense with fact! I agree Neil!

      • stucrmnx120fshwf 6 months ago

        A tenth of the price to maintain and power, if the prices keep failing, the sellers may not be happy, but the buyers, will be happy campers.

    • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

      For a while they will make ICE models with only cosmetic improvements because they have already paid to be tooled up to make them and they will dump those cars in any market with lax emission standards, like Australia.

    • Coley 6 months ago

      Not really, Australia wil, become the dumping ground for millions of ‘hard to sell’ ICE vehicles in the coming years, and Abbott & Co will claim credit for the surplus of new cheap cars available on the Australian market.

    • DogzOwn 6 months ago

      Looks like Australia will continue to lag with such limited availability of 95RON, getting by with 91 for old tech donks or paying over the odds for 98 which is always there for super car folks. Now we only get previous model ICE cars, running less efficiently on 91RON and cheaper than newer, cleaner more economical ICE. Lagging behind on updating standards, expect howls of sudden shock here when petrol prices leap and sales cheap ICE cars stop dead.

      • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

        limited 95 ? What rock do you live under ? Australia’s leading independent petrol supplier (United) has been focused on blending 91 with ethanol to give it 95 rating for years. I’ve been using nothing but for at least 10 years (in MB’s and BMW’s) neither of which have any problems with it.

  7. JIm 6 months ago

    I recall arriving in Perth without a credit card needing to hire a car. After the expected knock-backs from the usual suspects found there’s a niche being occupied by a smaller business for folk like me. EV isn’t going to be a niche market long, and leasing – not purchase from the usual car sales suspects (you can wordplay that!) – could become big. If so it seems especially dumb to be resisting!

  8. Ken Dyer 6 months ago

    Australia is onreof only a few countries that drive on the left, i.e right hand drive. This also mitigates against the introduction of EV’s.

    • PLDD 6 months ago

      The UK, Japan, India, South Africa, Thailand and New Zealand are also right hand drive (out of a total of 75 countries). Some of those places have quite a high population and buy lots of cars.

      • Malcolm M 6 months ago

        And Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

    • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

      I hear that Japan makes some cars, even some EVs, and drives on the left!

  9. Punter 6 months ago

    Sorry, but this article, is more a statement of fantasy rather than “fact”. The reality is that there are simply very few EV options in the Australian market. Those options that are available are expensive comparable with all other options. Also, their range is questionable given the vast distances in Australia and a distinct lack of charging infrastructure, as well not many people want to spend two hours or similar to charge their cars.
    These are the facts, save the conspiracy theories for those hiding under “rocks”. If an EV was a similar price, had a similar range and could be refuelled in a similar timeframe to conventional cars, car dealerships would be offering them and they would be promoting them and consumers would be buying them!!
    It will happen, not today, that’s all. Australia is so far behind the rest of the world in this regard and even if you could afford to buy a Tesla, most of us wouldn’t because of the wait to get one.
    It’s all economics & commercial reality, nothing else!

    • PLDD 6 months ago

      Range is a really big furphy. Most journeys in Australia are under 30km as over 90% of our population live in cities. All EV’s easily do that and much more. Most people will charge at home overnight (on off peak power) and some can use PV’s if the car spends time during the day at home (many do).

      The big issue is price and lack of incentives. Get price parity and the market will grow due to lower ownership costs. Problem is that is a gate controlled by the dealers – we already price weirdly making certain European brands more expensive relative to other other brands because they are marketed as aspirational brands.

      • Punter 6 months ago

        PLDD, you’re right, price is the issue! The dealers DO NOT control the “gate” the manufacturers do, so maybe you are better attacking the one’s who pull the strings, rather than those trying to navigate the manufacturers framework. Lastly, car are so much dearer in Australia, due to tax, layer upon layer of tax. May I suggest you have a go at our political parties and their huge thirst for getting a big clip of everything you earn & spend to keep the big, cumbersome, unproductive & wasteful machine running, it’s called govt. With respect, may I suggest you investigate the tax system and whats currently on offer in EV world today!!! I won’t be spending $150k on a Tesla, will you?

        • PLDD 6 months ago

          I understand the taxes pretty well as I imported my own car and you are right they are extreme. Hence my point about incentives.

          Supply is always going to be a chicken and egg situation with dealers and manufacturers. The dealer gives demand signals, the manufactures assess supply priorities and targets.

          If you dealers are really negative on EV’s those are the signals manufacturers get especially when the government sits on its hands.

          • Punter 6 months ago

            Not a “dealer”, not a “car salesperson”, don’t work for a car manufacturer, but through my professional associations, I have an internal understanding, about some of the business operations. Appreciate what you have to say, appreciate everyone is entitled to their point of view, whether educated or just opinion, based on what “rocks ya boat” If an EV was a similar price as an ICE car, had a similar range and took a similar time to charge/refuel. I’m in, as long as there is a charging network and the batteries last at least as long as ICE do. It’s coming and there will be a transition period from one tech to the next, bring it on!

          • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

            EVs are much quicker to charge. It takes a few seconds to plug every time I am home. No making a detour to a special refuelling place, standing about a cloud of carcinogenic vapour waiting for the tank to fill and then paying twice as much for the privilege.

          • Punter 6 months ago

            Wow, a few seconds! Sounds like you have some tech you could release to the rest of the world, including Tesla. Impressive

          • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

            My point is that you don’t need to hang around. Plug in and go inside and get on with whatever you like doing at home. When you next go out, the battery will be full or at least have a sufficient top up for nearly all usage patterns. That has worked for me for 9 years now.

          • Punter 6 months ago

            Certainly works for you Peter, well done! May I ask what type of car you have had for the last 9 years? May I ask what sort of range it usually has? Any idea how much the range is reduced if you tow something or drive it harder?

          • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

            From 9 years ago till early this year (when I sold it still going fine on its original battery) we had a Daihatsu charade which I converted to electric drive. In 2014 we added a Mitsubishi iMiEV. My wife and I commuted in opposite direction in the two city range EVs. My daughter was at home and gave our long range petrol car occasional use. Early this year, our daughter left home with the petrol car and we sold the conversion leaving one local range EV. We bought a used 2014 Holden Volt. It is a plug-in series hybrid. It runs purely battery electric, charged from the wall, for about 70km before seamless turning on a petrol generator to prevent the battery charge level falling below a set minimum. In that mode it has a further 600km range. We never use petrol for local driving. We have done a couple of interstate weeks away in the Volt and one long day trip. Our average for the year is 2.2L/100km. I don’t have a trailer so no tow bar but you can reduce electric range by driving like a hoon if you care to!

          • pete fry 6 months ago

            Hey Peter, congratulations on the conversion of the Charade. I was about to write that even less popular than a new EV is the conversion to electric of an existing vehicle.

            But consider that it takes one or two decades of normal driving before the emissions of an IC vehicle equal the carbon cost of its manufacture (or, conversely, before the emissions savings of a new EV equal the carbon cost of its manufacture).

            I think it should be obvious that the conversion of an existing vehicle to electric would have to be far and away a better thing to do for the planet than buying a new EV. The new EV may possibly balance the carbon books after one or two decades, but by that time the industrial treadmill of obsolescence will be demanding it be replaced with yet another new vehicle anyway.

            Surely its better to break the consumption cycle by simply adding an extra emissions-free decade or two to the life of an existing vehicle (thereby postponing its replacement). That would seem of itself to be immediately more positive for the planet.

            Of course it means those who make and sell motor cars will have to begin transitioning to other useful work, but that occurs in any case as part of all technical change and it needs forward looking governments, trade unions and industries to manage that process in a socially acceptable way.

          • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

            Thanks! While I agree a conversion makes good use of the non-trivial embodied energy in an existing vehicle, I have never heard it claimed that “it takes one or two decades of normal driving before the emissions of an IC vehicle equal the carbon cost of its manufacture”. Instead I have often heard the rule of thumb being put at one or two years of normal driving. Consequently, it is argued that we are better off after a few years if people move onto newer more efficient vehicles than sticking with older less efficient vehicles. At least some of that embodied energy is recovered by recycling of materials.

          • pete fry 6 months ago

            Hi Peter
            I acknowledge there is a lot of argument about this, not surprising as a lot of interests are at stake.

            The argument is summarised in an old Guardian piece…

            https://www.theguardian.com/environment/green-living-blog/2010/sep/23/carbon-footprint-new-car

            which weighs up the total inputs of manufacture (many of which such as supply of raw materials etc are often excluded from these calculations)and concludes “despite common claims to contrary, the embodied emissions of a car typically rival the exhaust pipe emissions over its entire lifetime.”

            The article is based on arguments from Mike Berners-Lee

            I have also come across an EU study which more scientifically did a scholarly longtitudinal piece looking at large numbers of vehicles across the EU but typically cant find it at the moment.

            But I agree its not difficult to find articles which present the embodied emissions as being smaller.

          • Coley 6 months ago

            It will come, lots of perfectly good ICE vehicles that could do another good few years if converted to BEV, it just needs an EV ‘parts’ supply chain to develop, and I have no doubt many ‘forward thinkers’ in the current ICE supply chain are giving this option considerable thought.
            Did consider looking at having my ICE/LPG Range Rover converted to BEV but at £20.000? No way Jose, but if these conversions become ‘mainstream’ and the costs came down by 50% then I would definitely be interested.
            I imagine there are lots of people like me, that want to transition but would jump at the chance at keeping a vehicle they are comfortable with.
            Rather than go with this newfangled AI, automonous etc.

          • Marc Talloen 6 months ago

            What Peter says is correct. I measured it a few times and on average it takes me less than 8 seconds to step out of the car and plug in. Unplugging takes only 3 seconds.

    • Ferris B 6 months ago

      Spoken like a true car salesman that knows nothing about EVs.

      • Punter 6 months ago

        Hey Ferris,
        Not a car salesman, never have been, but don’t let any facts get in the way of a good story. I must admit, some do like to sling “mud” when they feel there is a disagreement. Healthy to have lots of points of view. Remember Ferris, this is a comments section, not a statement section! Save up for your Tesla!

        • Ferris B 6 months ago

          Okay so your’s was a comment of opinion rather than a statement of facts, no problems everyone is entitled to an opinion.

          • Punter 6 months ago

            Good onya Ferris, live long & prosper! Enjoy your Telsa……

    • David Mitchell 6 months ago

      Punter,

      You clearly have never driven an EV. I have a PHEV with a 40km EV range. It’s awesome. I almost never fill up when I am driving in the city as my commute is under 40km return. I get about 3000km a tank of fuel for city driving. Charging is 2.5 hrs from empty, but it’s rarely empty, so usually under an hour to top up. When I need to drive further, I have a FF engine. Electric engine and FF engine work well together and give excellent fuel economy. About 5.5 L/100km for a 1600kg vehicle Adelaide to Melbourne.

      My experience in purchasing was that the single local Audi dealer in Adelaide had no idea. So I bought the same car (off the stock sheet) in Melbourne a week later and had it delivered on a car trailer. Was it more expensive than the equivalent FF model – of course, but so what. If I wanted to minimize my motoring cost I would by a used Merc from Pickles auctions and swap it whenever the ash try fills up (I have a friend that does this – seriously).

      Most people I know drive “vast distances” as an exception rather than the rule. It’s not all that difficult to organise a road trip with some charging breaks if you have a full EV.

      Your argument is essentially that if EVs were like FF cars, then everyone would buy them. They aren’t. FF cars are the past, EVs are the future.

      • Punter 6 months ago

        Thanks so much for your informative overview, I will keep all of it in mind.

        • David Mitchell 6 months ago

          🙂 If you are ever in Adelaide, drop by and you can take it for a drive.

    • Richard Houlton 6 months ago

      I’m inclined to agree. EVs don’t offer good value for money in the Australian market. Why would you spend $10k extra to have Prius V over a Corolla or $15k extra for a Nissan Leaf over a Juke? I can’t see the value. When EVs get volume however, the prices will tumble because EVs should be significantly cheaper to design and build. To get volume they’ve got to appeal to folks but when the tipping point is hit, pure economics with create a landslide to EV adoption. I believe that fast convenient charging will be the game changer. As soon as you can pull up to a station and “fill up” in 5 mins, it’s good night ICE. Right now the very people likely to adopt (the traditional early adopters) are the inner city dwellers who have to park on the street or in communal garages and can’t charge overnight at home. EV manufacturers….crack fast charging!

  10. Cooma Doug 6 months ago

    Sophie.
    If you have not seen this, please have a look..

    https://youtu.be/2b3ttqYDwF0

    • stucrmnx120fshwf 6 months ago

      Yep, the roaring twenties are on their way, cheap solar, low maintenance and powering cost electric vehicles, high rise farming. The construction replacement phase, will be boom times, until market saturation, then lower maintenance, will bite back, with unemployment, better put in means tested, basic minimum income, before 2029.

  11. Billyen 6 months ago

    In the last 2 months I visited 7 car dealerships in Sydney. They all had EV or PHEV options. The sales guy all pointed me toward a ICE car. The best reply was “Ya, they are ok and everything but, what if you wanted to drive to Perth?” I quickly replied to him…”How many times have you driven to Perth?” . He goes never but, you see that’s just one of many reason EVs aren’t good for Australia. These are the morons selling EV’s/PHEV today. In their defence…EVs will put the dealerships out of business. However, that’s not a bad thing IMO. I know many car salesmen. Most making 6 figures…on a low margin product?

    • Punter 6 months ago

      Yep, this individual sounds like a moron and I’ll bet he is not making 6 figures, like all your mates……!

  12. PeterY 6 months ago

    Personal experience while looking to buy a Renault ZOE – at 2 out of 2 dealers I visited, the sales people claimed they had never heard of it. I then called Renault HQ in Melbourne to be told that there was only one dealer in Sydney and Melbourne who would be selling (and very occasionally servicing) the ZOE. I eventually obtained mine from that dealer and found I knew more about the car than the sales guy from watching FullyCharged videos! Renault must take some blame for this lack of knowledge.

    • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

      I know someone who had paid a deposit and tried to get a Zoe. Eventually he gave up and bought a BMW i3.

      • Nick Kemp 6 months ago

        I bet he isn’t too disappointing – they are a nice car

  13. Tyson Laes 6 months ago

    wait till you have too replace the battery allow $10K

    • Ferris B 6 months ago

      I have 25 years and 500,000kms to worry about that.

    • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

      Depends on the model. Some have fared much better than others. Eg. the plug-in series hybrid GM Volt has examples from 2011 with many hundreds of miles (in the US) and no change in battery performance or EV range. The warranty on the electric bits is 8 years.
      My 2012 Mitsubishi iMiEV (actually made in 2011) has 61,000km and retains 80% of its originally specified battery capacity with no change of performance.
      Some companies are doing better than other for battery replacement too. Ideally there would be a battery upgrade cottage industry. Some have done the sums to work out the iMiEV could have its range nearly doubled with newer cells that could fit the space of the original battery cells while retaining the same battery chemistry, its characteristic voltages and the original wiring harness.

    • stucrmnx120fshwf 6 months ago

      The price of batteries is actually going down, not up, by the time you have to replace batteries, recycling technology for lithium, will give you back, $1,500, of the $3,000 it will cost, $1,500, for a vehicle, that’s been running for 16 years, with 1/10th of the maintenance and powering cost. Whose resale, is 4 to 5 times better, than an internal combustion engine vehicle, because it hasn’t been shaken, to a noisy rattler, by vibration explosions.

    • Nick Kemp 6 months ago

      Battery costs are falling at 20% p.a. so
      year zero $10,000
      Year 1 – $8,000
      year 2 – $6,400
      year 3 – $5,120
      year 4 – $4,096
      year 5 – $3,276

      meanwhile saving approx $1,800 a year (assumes charge off home solar and 15,000 p.a.) on fuel and $200 a year on servicing. After 5 years you could change the batteries even if you didn’t need to although there are some EVs that have racked up around 500,000 without changing batteries or motors already so why would you?

    • Roger Brown 6 months ago

      Nissan has started to do battery swaps and Upgrade battery size in older leafs , but not at $10K ? I thought it said $3K ?

      • Calamity_Jean 6 months ago

        I thought it said $5K, but I could be wrong.

    • Roger Brown 6 months ago

      What’s it cost to replace a new turbo diesel engine ?

  14. Ian 6 months ago

    Seems a rational summary and also consistent with my enquiries to buy a Leaf a while ago, complete disinterest in selling one.

    However we’ve moved on, and will reserve our EV purchase to a Tesla as they have no traditional service industry to maintain.

    • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

      A few years ago when Leafs were new, a friend went to the local Nissan dealer to buy one. He didn’t need convincing. He had cash and was ready to pay. An easy sale. They tried to talk him out of it. He went to another Nissan dealer who took the time to make sure he fully understood the vehicle and gave a generous time to test drive etc. The second dealer got the sale and years later my friend tells anyone who will listen to avoid the first dealer.

  15. Tony Pfitzner 6 months ago

    A recent American Automobile Assoc. survey indicated 20% of Americans expect their next car to be an EV. That’s 50 million.
    Forget 2040 -more like 2025- for EV sales to dominate the new car market. This will crash the new ICE car market, as people will buy either an EV or a very cheap late model ICE car on the used market.
    Big changes and very rapid. Just like the S curve for solar.

    • Punter 6 months ago

      be aware that the ICE car makers are all working on EV’s, eg. Ford & GM have something like 14 models each currently under development. Not a Kodak moment, more a sensible transition when economics stack up. Sooner the better…….

      • Tony Pfitzner 6 months ago

        They have not had time to develop the software. Just like we have only two operating systems in tthe smartphone market – IOS and Android. Tesla have millions of road miles to train their AI systems. This is their key advantage.

        • Frank Speaking 6 months ago

          Nor the IP and Patents.

          Interesting video and article which covers all the areas Tesla is so far ahead of it’s ICE competitors as they seek to transition.

          Munro and associates Tesla3 Dissassembly and analysis.

          http://www.motortrend.com/news/tesla-model-3-teardown-deconstructed-3/

          Each individual cell is glued to another and to the cooling channels. A unique low-heat ultrasonic aluminum wire-bonding process connects each cell to the cell-voltage balancing circuitry, which is also exceptionally precise—Munro measured a mere 0.2 millivolt variance between cells. “That’s staggeringly close,” Munro says, “far beyond what anybody else can do.”

          Clearly Tesla employs a lot of savvy electrical engineers. Its
          electronic computing circuitry ranks somewhere between that of a cellphone and a Mars mission in terms of sophistication. “The controllers are much, much more advanced than anything we’ve seen, and they’re all in one location,”

        • stucrmnx120fshwf 6 months ago

          Yes, Musk is in EV’s, household and industrial batteries, space X, the boring company, solar tiles, he has a diversified portfolio, which is future clean disruptions focused, where others have invested in disrupt able industries. Only one of these has to succeed, for him to be wealthy, if 2 or more succeed, he could become the worlds first trillionaire, taking his investors with him.

        • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

          In my opinion, AI and the so called ‘assistance’ of AutoPilot (and others by a different name) are all fine and well, but strictly speaking, they are not actually necessary to drive a car. Individual elements, like auto braking / crash avoidance / cruise control sure, but not the full blown self driving scenario (which is still a pipe dream anyway). I’d rather ‘drive’ with help, than be a full time passenger…

          • Tony Pfitzner 6 months ago

            Understand your point of view, but the ‘help’ you mention is at another level if you include AI. e.g. crash avoidance requires the car to recognise potentially dangerous situations such as an animal entering the path of traffic, or a crash some way ahead down the freeway.
            Software is going to be a major differentiator in the EV market. Comparing a Tesla to, say, a Nissan Leaf is like comparing a smartphone with a 2006 Nokia.
            Once people get introduced to intelligent vehicles, they will consider anything else inferior.

          • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

            Sorry, I have to disagree, especially about crash avoidance. If a Tesla can’t recognize a bright red fire truck right in front of it’s face, and slams into it at 60mph, there is definitely a problem. Would a crash avoiding Mazda, Volvo, MB or BMW have crashed in the same scenario? I don’t know, but it would be interesting to find out.
            I personally had a ‘situation’ a couple of weeks ago that I think AP would not have recognized… Driving my wife’s 10 year old Mercedes on a 4 lane road, up ahead I could see a builders ute parked diagonally across a driveway with the last 1 meter or so hanging out into the roadway. The ute was a dark color, on a dark background, and was difficult to see, but I managed to avoid it without any problems… only because I was paying attention, and had both hands on the wheel. I very much doubt if any AI system would have recognized this problem, and reacted in sufficient time to avoid a crash. (just my opinion)….

      • Alastair Leith 6 months ago

        Economics always stacked up when their hand was forced by outside players. Learning curve was always there waiting to be exploited. Just need Tesla and a couple of others to do it. Self fulfilling prophesy if they could get the R&D right and not go out of business which it looks like is very close.

        • stucrmnx120fshwf 6 months ago

          Well Microsoft, google, apple, Facebook and Amazon, they won’t survive the 1990’s, because they don’t have enough cash flow, it stands to reason, that Elon Musk, he doesn’t have the backing of a big auto manufacturer. He won’t make his first car and space rockets, he won’t even start cutting metal, you watch, they said, a decade ago, but now Falcon Heavy, Telstra 3 factory, gigafactory, for lithium ion batteries, I wouldn’t bet against Musk, if I were you.

      • Coley 6 months ago

        But they are going to be buggered for batteries, when all these legacy car companies realise ‘oh shyte’ time to move into the BEV ‘mainstream’ they are gong to fighting like cats in a basket for battery supplies.

  16. James Caldwell 6 months ago

    Unless conventional car-dealers create a new business-model that incorporates EVs, they will leave the door open for a disrupted market-place in which new niche-manufacturers and dealers will enter and lead to their eventual demise. They’ll have to play along, or eventually be dealt out of the game in the same way that horse-drawn buggies were.

    • Alastair Leith 6 months ago

      Thanks to some very well heeled and brilliant disruptors who have finally broken the back of car industry that couldn’t give a toss about Climate Change or air quality or progress if that meant taking a hair cut themselves.

  17. Grpfast 6 months ago

    The Australian LNP will want to spend our substantially reduced tax dollars ( given away to big business) on creating an Aussie built petrol driven car. Even though we already have a shortage of fuel in reserve and no environmentally acceptable oil exploration. And they encouraged the closure of our well established auto industry.
    No vision, no plans, just keep things as they were in 1950’s.

    • Peter Campbell 6 months ago

      FFS. Seriously? Five minutes ago they were the ones who out of economic purity were happy to see the last car manufacturing leave Australia?

  18. Askgerbil Now 6 months ago

    EVs provide their owners with features that ICE vehicles don’t.
    You have the option of fueling your EV at home using a solar PV system, and not paying for fuel as you must for petrol or diesel.
    In the event of a power outage, and EV owner – at least those with a Nissan Leaf – can use their EV’s 40 kWh battery capacity to provide backup electricity to their home or business. No more throwing out the entire contents of your fridge after each storm that causes a prolonged power outage. See “Nissan has developed 40kWh cells for batteries used in its LEAF electric vehicle”
    There is also the potential for car parking stations filled with EVs to act as both refuelling centres and places to trade spare electricity added from your home’s solar PV system: so you get a credit when you go to pay for parking. A lot of service station sites would be available for redevelopment.

    • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

      Service station closures are already happening here in Melbourne Australia, but it isn’t because of EV’s… It is because the real estate is so valuable to developers of apartments etc.

  19. Peter Campbell 6 months ago

    Our Mitsubishi iMiEV was sold with several years of fixed price servicing that was the same as on any small petrol Mitsubishi. Since there is not much to do by way of servicing, the dealers should have liked them as a way to get the same servicing money for less effort.

  20. gth_au 6 months ago

    I was hoping for the Honda small SUV hybrid (C-HR I think it is?). Not only did we miss out on the original, but the upgraded performance hybrid also seems to be delayed.

  21. Coley 6 months ago

    Have mentioned this on CT, I visited a Nissan dealership 3 years ago that is 10 miles ( or less) from where the leaf is built and received zero interest in helping me buy one of their Leafs, out of sheer frustration I contacted the head of Nissan (electric) UK, he said he would deal with it, never heard nowt more.
    Last year tried again, this time I was after a Leaf combi, got offered everything ICE-ways, but zero interest in the leaf Combi but got offered loads of good deals on the ICE combi, and this from a company based on my doorstep that (after Tesla) is the world leader in producing BEVs.
    On both occasions I was ‘obliquely’ informed that my preferred choice would give me loads of grief, battery problems, limited warranty et al.
    I was wanting to be an. ‘early adopter’ and in doing so, in some small measure help my local economy.
    But bugger the hassle-;)

  22. Richard Houlton 6 months ago

    People will adopt EVs as soon as there are compelling reasons to do so. As soon as the market starts to tip towards EVs, the increased volumes combined with cars that will be easier and cheaper to design and build will cause a disruptive land slide and ICE vehicles will rapidly disappear from showrooms. I think the tipping point will be fast charging. The moment you can “fill up” and EV as quickly and conveniently as an ICE vehicle, it’s probably over for the ICE. We’re close. Refueling at home isn’t an option for people that have to park on the street or in communal garages. Managing the charging of an EV would be a hassle for me. Fast charging with similar convenience to pulling into a petrol station and filling a tank in less than 5 mins is currently a requirement for me to adopt.

    • Nick Kemp 6 months ago

      Personally i can only see fast charging as an issue if one doesn’t charge at home or is driving 1,000 km a day.

      • Richard Houlton 6 months ago

        I can’t charge at home or at work. Lot’s of inner city dwellers are the same. The ability to Fast Charge is THE difference between an EV working for me or being a pain in the ass. And in countries like Australia with big distances, it’s also an issue. So I think fast charging is the game changer. But when the game changes it’s going to be super rapid. I’d say that within 10 years, the ICE will be completely dead.

        • Ferris B 6 months ago

          Although you may not be able to charge at work or home keep in mind that charging facilities are being installed at shopping centres and other locations that cars spend a lot of down time at.

          • Richard Houlton 6 months ago

            My car doesn’t spend a lot of time at shopping centres or other locations. But…bottom line…if I can “fill it up” in 5 mins it doesn’t matter where I go to charge it. So “fast charging” is my requirement to adopt….and I suspect that it’s many other peoples. But the EV manufacturers are working on it and I’m sure that they’ll crack it.

            BTW….I’m not a willing adopter of EVs. I’m a petrol head and I like ICE cars. I like petrol fumes, I like the noise. I like getting up early an going to a drive on tight winding roads in a lightweight sports car. I’m going to miss ICE terribly. I know that Teslas accelerate as fast as the Millennium Falcon but that makes them capable drag racers not visceral sports cars and I’m really not interested. So, EV adoption by me will be closure for me as a car enthusiast. Buying an EV will be akin to buying a washing machine….but I still need to get to work.

          • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

            You are living in the past with your ‘visceral sports cars’…
            They have already been replaced with:
            https://www.tesla.com/en_AU/roadster
            Evidently it has this new fangled thing call a steering wheel (as opposed to a tiller) for those inconvenient things we call corners.
            Time to wake up and smell the ozone…

          • Richard Houlton 6 months ago

            No…they haven’t been replaced by anything Tesla has conceived or built and you are clearly not “a car guy”. No Tesla humm is ever going to replace the wail of a Ferrari. The fact that the Tesla may accelerate faster is utterly irrelevant. Sports cars have always been about “how they make you feel”. Driving an 1000D Tesla is an impressive experience no doubt, but it’s an oddly emotionless experience. I was very impressed, but I didn’t walk away thinking “I must have one of these”. So the inevitable demise of the ICE is a sad thing for me.

          • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

            You make a comment without knowing the facts (and not just about Tesla’s). I have been a ‘car guy’ since probably before you were born. (I’m doing the same as you… making assumptions without any facts).
            I’ve owned 5 BMW’s (the ‘ultimate drivers car’) and been a member of the BMW Car Club for more years than I’d like to remember, and spent countless track days with people like Alan Moffat and Cameron McConville to name just 2. If you have tried something like a 200 kph 4 wheel drift on to the main straight of Philip Island race track with Mr Moffat’s guidance from the passenger seat, and with a BMW M3’s engine screaming in pain, THEN you might have a bit of credibility. However, attitudes change over time, and I am no longer interested in polluting the atmosphere with tons of CO2 from burning fossil fuels.
            I also doubt you have driven a Ferrari (I have, multiple times, including on Sandown Raceway).
            The ‘wail’ you mentioned is certainly part of the experience, but even that is now available on an App so you can get the Ferrari sound on your MX5. I’ve experienced that too (from a another friend with an MX5), and it is quite effective, but you need a really good sound system in your car.

            In summary, I guess we will have to agree to disagree, and leave you to power on polluting while I ride my e-bike (until my Tesla Model 3 arrives – if ever).

            NOTE: Tesla Model 3 reservation holder, and Tesla shareholder. (and yes, I am in Australia).

          • Richard Houlton 6 months ago

            1). I’m 60 years old. So maybe try again.

            2) Try drifting a Tesla. Mmmmm…actually….you can’t LOL.

            3) I’ve driven several M2/3/4/5/6s. Have come very close to ownership on a few occasions (most recently with the M2 Pure) but never quite pulled the pin. I’ve always respected them.

            4) Yeah…I’ve had Cameron in the passenger seat a few times. Hope I didn’t scare him too much.

            5) Yes….I’ve driven a few of Ferrari’s including a 599…which I didn’t really like if I’m honest. The one I enjoyed the most was a 512 BB. A cantankerous old thing and a bit of a bitch to drive, but that was more about time and place. Often its more about “occasion” and those “visceral” things than how good the car is.

            6) And I’m not interested in “piping pretend noises”. That’s just naff
            7) Good luck with saving the planet. I’ll probably join you with an EV when I run out of options.

          • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

            OK, I’ll admit defeat on the age 😉 I was going by your avatar which makes you appear to be a lot younger (which is a good thing I suppose). I’m 64, so we are of similar vintage, and looks like we also have had similar car experiences. My favorite was a BMW Z3. Top down, winding road… yeeha 😉
            And I didn’t say anyone could drift a Tesla, I was talking about a BMW M3. However, it can be done (badly)… See:

            BTW, last time Cameron was in my passenger seat was in a drifting ‘lesson’ (in my Z3). He had a drive too, and loved it (after commenting ‘how come the journos call this gutless?’).
            My Z3 was the early 1997 1.9 litre version. Lowered, chipped, $20k worth of mods etc etc… Special skinny tyres for the drift day (held at DECA in Shepparton). It was great fun.
            Fav track is Winton BTW. Yours is ?

          • Richard Houlton 6 months ago

            Thanks. I’ll take that as a complement and it is a recent pic too. It’s actually grainy enough to hide the crow’s feet and grey hair.
            I actually drove a Z3M “Smurf Hearse” not that long ago and I really liked it (starting to become quite collectable too).
            And yep, I’m really enjoying the “low performance” MX5 I have now and the BRZ I had before it. These sort of cars that can generate a degree of excitement at non-licence threatening speeds that are the antidote to the “cameras everywhere 3kph tolerance” regime I live in in Victoria.
            Tracks? I’ve only driven Winton, Sandown, Phillip Island and Lakeside (Qld) so I’m not really a track warrior (it’s too expensive, risky and hard on the car to do it regularly). Yeah….probably Winton.

    • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

      Based on the existing 1.8 million (and growing) houses with solar, you are in the minority, and therefore will not be a prime target for those selling EV’s in future.
      I specifically did NOT buy an apartment recently because I could not wire up are charger in the underground car park (even though the power was available). Thank the owners corporation for that. Viva La ICE ? (dickheads)

      • Richard Houlton 6 months ago

        That may be true, but inner city professionals are typically the “early adopters” of any new technology. Without fast-charging convenience, they are quite probably locking out the very people most likely to adopt. And EVs need volume to reach their economic tipping point. Anyway, I expect the fast-charging issue will be addressed, but make no mistake, right now, charging convenience is a major “con” in the ICE v EV convenience stakes.

        • Greg Hudson 6 months ago

          IMO, if you compare the numbers of apartment dwellers, to the number of home owners (or renters) the AD’s would be in a very small (but growing) minority.

          • Richard Houlton 6 months ago

            Yes….but they are also younger and the people most likely to be “early adopters” of any new technology. So my point is that they probably punch significantly above their weight. Anyway, we are arguing over something that I feel will disappear as an issue in the next 5 years. The manufacturers know that having to plan to have your car plugged in for a few hours is a disadvantage against ICE. They are working on it.

  23. Mark Fowler 6 months ago

    Given the reasoning of the Coalition I assume the second step will be to create a new car industry – the first step was to clear out the old one. Perhaps Tony was thinking long term for once?!. The new one will be different – steam cars powered by coal – the Stanley Steamer was an excellent vehicle of its time. This policy not only benefits the coal industry but dramatically reduces the security risk of disruption to our supplies of petrol and diesel.

    • RobertO 6 months ago

      Hi Mark Fowler Brilliant idea, we may need a few more refuelling stations built, so that we do not have the drive too far to pick up our fuel (Hunter Valley is just a little too far for me). Hugh numbers of new employment opportunities, stacking the coal, loading the coal (cannot use automation as each hopper would be different levels, would not want to spill any fuel).
      Question: Would my sports model car get ground up coal for quicker acceleration or would I only be allowed to buy lumpy fuel?
      Is this the wrecker guide to the future?
      Thankyou Mark for the laughs’

      • Edgar 6 months ago

        Never underestimate the lengths that Tony & The God-Squad will go to in protecting their donations and retirement directorships.

        I’m sure that the historians out there will remember that the original Diesel engine was designed to run on….. POWDERED COAL!

  24. JET Charge 6 months ago

    We are installing charging infrastructure across the country at many dealers right now. Attitudes are changing, either by choice or by external forces.

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