Five

Electric vehicles: the road to the future


With climate change and emissions reduction at the forefront of people’s minds, it’s no surprise that electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming the motor vehicle of choice for consumers. Better for the environment, and cheaper to run and maintain, the global uptake for EVs is increasing rapidly. But unlike the rest of the world, Australia has been a late adopter of EVs, with the lack of charging infrastructure identified as a key barrier for consumer uptake.

But this is about to change, with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) recent announcement to provide $15 million of funding to Evie Networks, an organisation aiming to build an ultra-fast charging network across the country. This supports the first phase of Evie Networks’ $50.2 million program to develop a network of EV chargers along Australia’s highways and beyond, which will see 23 sites built in the next 12 months.

A new report claims that two thirds of Australian drivers will own an EV by 2028, with 84% indicating that they would like to own an EV at some point in their life, and 1 in 5 claiming they are likely to buy one in the next two years. Just like rooftop solar and batteries, electric vehicles are an inevitable part of our future. So, here are a few reasons why it’s time to make the switch.

Better for the environment

One of the main drivers for the shift towards EVs are the positive environmental outcomes associated with these new-age cars. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions , and have lower greenhouse gas emissions overall than their petrol or diesel equivalents. Of course, this reduces even further when the electricity is generated by renewable energy. If you have solar panels and a battery at home, you can charge an EV at home using only the sun and dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.

Cheaper to run, cheaper to maintain

EVs are significantly cheaper to run and maintain. On a cost per kilometre basis, EVs can cost up to a third less to run, compared to petrol or diesel cars. Maintenance is also simpler because there are fewer moving parts – including no expensive exhaust systems, fuel injection systems, radiators, oil, and starter motors – unlike petrol or diesel cars. EVs only have three main components – the on-board charger, inverter and motor – which generally equates to less servicing and maintenance.

Charging at home with solar

If you own a solar power system and battery, you can charge your EV overnight in the comfort of your own home, just like you would a mobile phone or laptop. On top of the convenience and satisfaction you’ll get from breaking free from big energy corporations, you’ll also be saving money on electricity and reducing your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win situation. Make sure you talk to an accredited solar battery installer about how you can integrate your EV with your solar battery system.

The road to the future

It’s already happening globally. Norway’s EV market overtook traditional vehicle sales in March 2019; in the UK, there are now more EV charging stations than petrol; and China is producing more than half of the world’s EV batteries, all paving the way for the rest of the world.

And now, Australia’s EV market is finally getting the boost it needs with ARENA’s investment into a nationwide public charging network, acting to ease charging and range related anxiety. With a new network of charging stations, it won’t be long before we start to see EVs taking over the motor vehicle market.

Are you ready for the revolution?

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