Previously occupying a niche luxury market dominated by Nissan and Tesla, EVs are growing in popularity and are set to become more mainstream with manufacturers such as Hyundai, Kia and Mini looking to release more affordable options in the future. In this article we examine the rise of the EV and the role it will play in a green transport future.
The benefits of going electric
The most obvious benefit is cutting down on fossil fuel, EVs have no exhaust emissions meaning they don’t directly pollute the air. Cost-wise, EVs are more economical to run, even charging from the main power grid, a fully-charged car will cost you around a third of the price of a tank of fossil fuel. And then there’s maintenance. No exhaust systems, starter motors, fuel injection systems or radiators means fewer service bills. Battery packs are expensive, however, and may need replacing during the vehicle’s lifecycle.
There are also registration and stamp duty benefits. In the ACT, new EVs pay zero stamp duty and are eligible for a 20% registration discount. In Victoria, EVs have a $100 annual registration discount, while in Victoria and Queensland you’ll benefit from a reduced rate of stamp duty.1
Although running costs maybe more economical at present – if you buy a brand new EV you won’t be left with much change from $50,000 – a comparable fossil-fuelled car is around half the price.
How far will it go?
The biggest stumbling block for many people is refuelling and in a country the size of Australia, range is critical. The top-of-the-range Tesla can drive up to almost 600km and, while more ‘everyday’ EVs have a range closer to 300km, you can still comfortably go about your day-to-day travel.2
It’s when you want to go further afield that you will need factor in stop-offs at recharging locations. The International Energy Agency reports that the number of public charging stations has increased by 143% between June 2018 and July 2019 and there are now almost 800 across Australia.3