Electric vehicles can be powered by renewable energy and could reduce emissions from transport to help Australia meets its Paris Agreement commitments for less cost. EVs also benefit public health and could create jobs in sales, charging infrastructure deployment and in manufacturing components like batteries and EV parts.
Houston, we have a problem...There are now more than two million electric vehicles on the road around the world, and that figure is on the up. (In Norway, 42% of all new vehicle sales are EVs!) So why were only 1,369 electric vehicles sold in Australia in 2016 (ie 0.1 per cent of the car buying market)? Well there are a few reasons, namely:
- Compared to the rest of the world, the Australian car market has very few electric vehicle models to choose from (more choice=more sales overall);
- Research has found that most Australians would consider buying an electric vehicle, but they’re put off by issues like purchase cost;
- Potential buyers are also worried about how far they’ll be able to travel on a single charge and the availability of charging stations - especially on long trips.
Electric vehicles can and should be powered by renewable energy. And they can reduce emissions in the transport sector to help Australia meet its Paris climate Agreement emissions reduction goals at a lower cost. They’re also a boon to public health because they reduce air pollution in cities. And they could generate Australian jobs in sales, charging infrastructure deployment, and potentially, in the manufacture of batteries and electric vehicle components. What’s not to like?
And so, in May 2017, a whole bunch of people who were asking these and other tough questions about EVs got together and formed the Electric Vehicle Council (EV Council). They’ve charged themselves (yep, that was a pun) with the task of speeding up Australia’s transition to electric road transport because it’s more sustainable, globally, it’s inevitable, and ultimately, it’ll be better for our health and our economy.
The EV Council hit the ground running (yep, another pun) and went straight for those tough questions to find out what the story really was.
In May 2017, The EV Council launched a public campaign funded by ARENA called, ‘Top ten EV myths busted’ which revealed the true story behind the assumptions many people have made about EV ownership. Check out these beauties (for the full mythbusting list, look here!)
- The average driving distance from a single charge of an EV currently available in Australia, is more than five hours of continuous driving per day. The average Australian household owns more than two cars, and completes about one hour of continuous driving - or 38kms - per day. So recharging a vehicle overnight is more than enough to fulfil the average driver’s everyday driving needs.
- Nowhere to charge? EV owners quickly realise that charging during non-use periods (ie. overnight or while at work) is plenty for their everyday driving needs. However, as EV uptake increases globally, charging infrastructure is also making its own quiet revolution. Check out this interactive map by Plugshare which tracks the expanding public and private charging stations around the world, including in Australia. And local governments are also doing their bit. Take Melbourne’s inner-north where Moreland City Council has installed six publicly accessible charge points. The Council also has four EVs in their fleet. Over the other side of the country, Australia’s first ‘electric highway’ has opened in Western Australia with a corridor of fast charge stations allowing EV users to travel from Perth to the south-west regions of Western Australia. And Queensland is creating a new EV ‘super highway’ to feature 18 fast-charging charging stations that allow EVs to get from the Gold Coast to Cairns.
Soon after, ClimateWorks and the EV Council jointly released a report ‘The State of Electric Vehicles in Australia’, to assess the current state of play. They also promised to continue tracking progress in coming years and report on the following:
- Electric vehicle uptake in Australia, including electric vehicle sales numbers over a six year period, both by jurisdiction and market segment.
- Charging infrastructure, reviewing the roll out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Australia by state and location
- Consumer attitudes - assessing public perceptions of electric vehicles
- Electric vehicle policies in Australia at federal, state and territory levels (local governments also play an important role in supporting electric vehicle uptake)
Think nothing can be done about climate change? Think again.
Share this story and spread the word about the generation changing climate change.
Have a story to tell? Get in touch and join Generation Yes.