Your future is electric

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Flying cars may not have taken over the skies as predicted in Back To The Future II but one particular automobile has grown exponentially (in strength and technology) over the last few decades – the Electric Vehicles (EV). Battery-operated automobiles have been around since the 19th century but it was only in 2017 that EV became truly mainstream thanks to tech innovation, a need for renewable energy, and the introduction of ‘cheaper’ models. Though fully electric vehicles currently only make up 2% of the global market  data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (along with the right policies in place – of course) has suggested that electric cars will be cheaper than their petroleum counterparts by 2025.

Petrol-run vehicles will (soon) become a thing of the past !

As fossil fuels deplete, the climate continues to change, and environmental conservation gains followers, which means sustainability is the way to go. While it makes perfect sense to switch to EV, not every country has jumped on the bandwagon. In Australia, electric cars only make up 0.2 percent of vehicles sold despite being an environmentally-conscious nation. Surprisingly, there were only 2,284 electric vehicles reportedly sold in 2017 as opposed to 62,000 in Norway that same year! 

Countries around the world provide incentives

Some intro text here. For example: tax and financial bonus schemes for EV because of environmental, health, economic, and strategic reasons.

So why hasn’t Australia jumped on the bandwagon especially now that the range has stretched way below the Tesla price point? This massive difference is mainly due to Norway’s generous tax concessions and Australia’s lack thereof. It seems that this lack of direct government incentives has led to a reluctance by manufacturers to bring a variety of electric vehicles down under. And without these subsidies, electric vehicles are also a luxury to own – even the ‘cheaper’ options. Thankfully this will likely change. Since more and more attention is being placed on the electric revolution worldwide, EV technology along with the cost of lithium-ion batteries will eventually become more affordable. Though the Australian Government will only release their EV strategy mid next year, we’re sure Australia will follow the transition to zero-emissions transport in no time. In fact, a revolution has already taken place in Queensland with Zero Emissions Noosa Inc (ZEN) aiming to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions in Noosa by 2026!

What do Aussies think about EV?

Is there a demand for EV in Australia? Carzoos recently conducted a survey on whether Australians would buy an electric vehicle and the results showed that out of 704 respondents: a whopping 54.1% would buy one because of environmental reasons, 19.2% liked the convenience of being able to charge the vehicle at home, and 18.5% feel that it would be a cheaper option to run.

Australians are definitely keen on Electric Vehicles with environmental reasons playing a huge role in their positive response towards the car trend.

In addition, the survey also revealed that Australian men were more concerned over the financial benefits, convenience, and social status of owning an EV while women leaned more towards the environmental aspects of owning one.

Time to Plug in

Some intro text here.Since there is apparent interest in EV, why aren’t more people rushing to switch their petrol guzzling automobiles with the battery-operated variety for the sake of the planet and their wallets? Understandably there are a few kinks and misconceptions that need to be ironed out before people can wholeheartedly make the switch. We narrowed down the most common concerns when it comes to EV to hopefully help sway you to the electric-side:

Hassle of charging (not readily available)

Granted charging stations aren’t as readily available as petrol stations – yet! Infrastructure is continuing to grow in this department. Evie Networks has proposed a network of 42 ultra-fast charge stations with 80 individual charge points linking all the major capital cities. It’s competitor Chargefox plans to open 22 fast-charge sites before the start of next year. While Queensland already has its own Electric Super Highway in place which has fast charger sites powered by green energy from Coolangatta to Cairns and Brisbane to Toowoomba!

Driving range

Perceived range anxiety is a huge contributor to people not wanting to buy an EV. Depending on the make of the car, range is normally between 200km to 485km. That’s definitely more than the average daily drive time for the city dweller. So the fear of running out of ‘juice’ during your usual work/school pick-up/grocery/errand runs is an unrealistic one even with the high air-conditioner cranked up high. And if you’re planning a long drive, infrastructure is going to get a boost with more fast charge stations in place so there’s really nothing to get anxious about. Charging your vehicle (like the way your charge your phone) instead of pumping gas will eventually become the new norm. It’s important to also note that IoT connectivity will also enable cars to sync and communicate with road signs, cameras, pedestrians, and other vehicles therefore making driving less stressful.

Too quiet

To be honest, there really is such a thing as being too quiet, and electric cars are too silent for their own good, especially for pedestrians and the vision-impaired. Being creatures of habit, we’ve grown accustomed to listening out for oncoming vehicles. Now all electric cars in the EU have to come fitted with a low-speed noisemaker to increase awareness of an approaching EV and help curb dangerous situations. Mercedes-AMG took it up a notch by recently sharing that they recruited American rock-band Linkin Park to develop a unique sound for their battery-powered vehicles.

Watch as Arnold Schwarzenegger shares his thoughts on electric cars in this hilarious video:

High cost

Hyundai Iconiq Electric, Hyundai Kona Electric, Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, and Kia e-Niro are all cheaper than a Tesla but they still cost above $40,000 to own. However, while it comes with a higher price tag compared to cars that run on fossil fuel, EV don’t only make environmental sense but financial too – especially in the long run. There will be a significant reduction in overall running costs. Firstly, there are fewer moving parts in an EV so oil changes, fuel filters, spark plug replacements, and emission checks are things of the past. Heck even the brake pads won’t need to be replaced as frequently or at all because in an EV you simply lift your foot off the accelerator to slow down and only use the brake to come to a complete stop. Batteries only need to be replaced every 7 years! Secondly, charging your vehicle will end up costing a lot less than petrol ($0.25/kWh versus $1.42/litre). A small car will approximately need 7.5 litres to travel 100km which means you will spend $10.65 in petrol. According to Ergon Energy, it takes 18kWh to travel 100km so that adds up to $4.50. That’s more than half in savings alone! Plus your electricity bill can get cut even further with economy electricity tariffs and/or the solar power option. This makes EV a truly worthwhile investment.

For more info on EV, RenewEconomy and The Driven are co-hosting the inaugural Electric Vehicle Transition on Australia conference at UTS on August 26 and 27 which may provide very interesting insights.

Are you making the switch to electric? Share your thoughts and comments with us!