The global imperative to reduce carbon emissions has brought the issue of transportation squarely into focus. As a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector is ripe for transformation, with electric vehicles (EVs) emerging as a promising solution. However, the uptake of EVs varies widely across different regions, and understanding the dynamics behind adoption is crucial for policymakers and industry stakeholders.

In a recent study, Anna Mortimore, Shyama Ratnasiri and Md Sayed Iftekhar delved into the motivations and profiles of early adopters of EVs. Titled “Who is buying electric vehicles in Australia? A study of early adopters,” this research sheds light on the factors driving EV adoption in the Australian context.

Despite the potential benefits of EVs, Australia has been slow to embrace this transition. In 2020, EVs represented only a fraction of new vehicle sales, lagging far behind other countries. This sluggish uptake can be attributed to various factors, including the lack of national policy support and the relatively high cost of EVs compared to traditional vehicles.

To gain insights into the EV adoption process, the study focused on early adopters of EVs in Queensland. These individuals represent a crucial segment of the market, providing valuable insights into the factors influencing adoption decisions.

The research revealed that early adopters of EVs in Queensland are predominantly male, university-educated, and have higher-than-average incomes. This demographic profile suggests that EV adoption may be driven by factors such as environmental consciousness, technological interest, and financial capacity.

The findings of this study have important implications for policymakers and industry stakeholders seeking to promote EV adoption in Australia. By understanding the motivations and preferences of early adopters, policymakers can design targeted incentives and policies to accelerate the transition to EVs.

In conclusion, the study highlights the importance of understanding the diverse motivations behind EV adoption in Australia. By recognizing the unique preferences and characteristics of early adopters, stakeholders can chart a path towards a more sustainable and electrified transportation system.


Dr Anna Mortimore, Dr Shyama Ratnasiri and Associate Professor Md Sayed Iftekhar from the  Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics and Griffith Asia Institute members.

Please click here to read the full journal article “Who is buying electric vehicles in Australia? A study of early adopters” published by Taylor and Francis.