Electric and hybrid vehicles will play an important role in reducing greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions from car travel in Western Australia

Did you know...

  • In March 2023, a total of 8,622 electric vehicles were registered in WA, which is a 22.1 per cent increase from December 2022
  • It seems Western Australians are moving to embrace the shift to lower emissions vehicles, as new sales in 2022 increased by 48.5 per cent from 2021

Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered purely by electricity or a combination of this and liquid fuel, reducing tailpipe emissions and the impact of cars on our health and the environment. EVs produce less emissions than petrol or diesel cars, or even zero when recharged from renewable electricity.

The main types of EVs:

  • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) which are powered only by electricity
  • Hybrid or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) which can be powered by electricity but also have a back-up internal combustion engine (petrol or diesel)

energy consumption comparison electrric vs non electric

Electric cars reduce fuel costs and are typically cheaper to service compared to a traditional vehicle. When fully charged, most EVs can drive between 250-500kms before they need to be recharged. 

Other low emission vehicles, such as fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) which are powered by hydrogen are being developed to provide another alternative to the traditional combustion engine.

Electric vehicle sales

The global market for EVs continues to grow significantly but uptake has been slower in Australia. This is largely due to cost, range anxiety and the limited range available to buy. However, based on the existing trajectory of EVs, by 2050, it's estimated they will account for:

  • 65 per cent of new car sales in Australia
  • 50 per cent of Australia's total car fleet

RAC is always looking at ways to help reduce vehicle emissions, improve fuel quality and ensure Western Australians have access to clean and safe vehicle technologies. We do this through our advocacy activities (including submissions to government) and initiatives such as the RAC Electric Highway to reward and support owners of low and zero emissions vehicles.

Renewable and clean energy

A further shift toward renewable electricity generation sources will ensure electric and hybrid vehicles produce even less harmful emissions.

You can check WA's daily electricity generation breakdown at the Australian Electricity Market Operator’s website.

RAC's position on low and zero emission vehicles

RAC advocates for all Western Australians, whether they are a driver, passenger, cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian or public transport user.

These documents outline our public policy positions, and what we are calling on from the State and Federal Governments to support better mobility for Western Australians.

RAC Public Policy

Federal Priorities for Western Australia

State Budget Submission

Other reports

Electric Vehicles: RAC's Response to the Select Committee Inquiry 2018 (PDF 188KB)

Frequently asked questions