Worrying Signs For Queensland EV Take-up, As Household Costs Rise

Queensland Household Energy Survey 2023

Queenslanders still want to install solar PV systems, but as the cost of living – particularly energy – hits home, they’re showing less enthusiasm for buying electric vehicles.

That’s the result of a survey conducted by the state’s two Distributed Network Service Providers (DNSPs) – Ergon Energy, Energex, and Queensland’s transmission network Powerlink.

The study surveyed 4,200 Queensland households, covering a research panel of more than 3600 households and 541 recruited from online communities such as Facebook and the Talking Energy website.

At Talking Energy, the three electricity networks say:

“… households are starting to feel the impact of cost-of-living pressures, as more are now concerned about their ability to pay electricity bills than recorded in previous years.


Households are increasingly looking at ways to reduce consumption and change behaviour, with some even indicating a potential willingness to sacrifice reliability for reduced bills.


There is evidence that uptake of some new energy technologies has waned, although interest in technologies to manage consumption has remained steady.”

‘Solar Sponge’ Electricity Tariffs Gaining Popularity

Beset by past price increases and expecting further hikes, the survey found households are not only trying to reduce their consumption, but 47% are considering shifting to a daytime tariff that offers cheaper power when renewables on the grid are at their highest.

Biggest Barrier To Solar Uptake: Renting

With 26% of households considering solar power (44% already reported having an installation), interest in solar was steady. The main barrier to installing a PV system was 46% of participants live in rentals.

Cost Of Solar An Issue For Homeowners

Among homeowners in houses, the cost of solar panels was the most common reason for not considering it; cited by 46% of families, 35% of retirees in their own houses, and 32% of other homeowners in houses.

As at the beginning of July 2023, more than 962,990 small scale solar systems had been installed in Queensland.

EV Interest Falling

Cost of living pressures had their greatest impact on how people feel about electric vehicles. In last year’s survey, 50% of respondents were in the market for a new vehicle, and 71% of those were considering an EV. This year, both measures fell: only 45% of households were considering a new car, and only 60% of those were thinking of buying an EV.

Home Battery Interest Falling

The other big-ticket item impacted by the cost of living were solar batteries, with intentions of buying a home battery within ten years falling from 51% in the last survey to 47% this year.

Almost Half Of Consumers Open To Third Party Control

Consumption management remains popular: 47% of households would consider remote control of their energy usage, 45% want remote control of some appliances, and 28% would consider handing control off to a third party (such as their energy provider).

About Richard Chirgwin

Joining the SolarQuotes blog team in 2019, Richard is a journalist with more than 30 years of experience covering a wide range of technology topics, including electronics, telecommunications, computing, science and solar. When not writing for us, he runs a solar-powered off-grid eco-resort in NSW’s blue mountains. Read Richard's full bio.


  1. George Kaplan says

    Is it really accurate to describe the results as a worrying sign for EV take up? In 2019 33% of respondents were considering a new vehicle in the next 3 years, of which 40% were considering an EV. In 2022, as per this article, that rose to a height of 50% looking for a new vehicle, and 71% of those considering an EV. Now it’s down to 45% looking for a new vehicle, and 60% of those considering an EV. A slight drop on last year, but still far higher than 2019.

    Given the current price of EVs compared to traditional vehicles, plus range issues and other concerns, I’m actually surprised EV consideration is as high as it is! But perhaps considering an EV simply means not categorically ruled it out?

    In my case I’d say almost certainly not getting an EV, but I would need to research current options, costs, and performance before saying categorically nay or yay. Would that mean I’m considering an EV?

  2. Cost of living pressures had their greatest impact on how people feel about electric vehicles. …

    Perhaps steadily increasing petroleum fuel prices may soon change people’s attitudes to EVs?

    Reuters published on Sep 2 a column by John Kemp headlined Column: US oil and gas output nears peak. It included:

    After prices peaked in June 2022, the number of rigs drilling for oil peaked in December 2022 and had fallen 16% by August 2023, according to field services company Baker Hughes.

    Following the drilling peak, Lower 48 output is likely to peak in the third quarter of 2023, as exploration and production firms work their way through the inventory of drilled but uncompleted oil wells.

    Flat or falling Lower 48 production will contribute to a tightening global oil market during the final four months of 2023, especially since Saudi Arabia and Russia are set to maintain their own production cuts.

    But prices have already started to increase in response to the Saudi and Russian cuts, easing some of the pressure on U.S. producers.

    Extra cuts announced by Saudi Arabia and its OPEC+ partners have thrown a lifeline to U.S. shale firms, ensuring any downturn in U.S. output is shorter and shallower than it would have been otherwise.


    Meanwhile, US stockpiles of crude oil inventories (excluding the US SPR) have reached their lowest levels so far this year. Where to next?

    Is US oil production growth close to ending?

    Crude oil production data suggests Russia has probably peaked, & Saudi Arabia may be about to decline. See the Energy Institute’s Statistical Review of World Energy-2023 (page 17).

    Will global crude oil supplies tighten? Will global petroleum fuel prices keep rising?

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