Electric Cars Are Here To Stay
You have probably heard a lot about electric cars recently, with them becoming ammunition for a national political debate.
Depending on what side of the fence you’re on, they are either the greatest invention in the history of mankind or they will be the death of us all.
When Bill Shorten stated that if elected, Labor will introduce a policy that proposes 50% of all new cars sold in Australia by 2030 will be electric, a strange and uneducated debate unfolded.
The consequences of which have now muddied the waters for a lot of people that are considering electrical vehicle ownership.
We are in such an exciting era of development and tech advances in the automotive industry and with so much misinformation being thrown around regarding electric cars at the moment, it’s disappointing to see that for whatever reason, people are trying to put a damper on the industry.
Political BS aside, this article will provide you with some truthful information and dispel a few myths about electric vehicle ownership in Australia.
The Costs –
It’s true, electric vehicles are more expensive to purchase and this is the biggest deterrent for people considering an EV at the moment.
The cheapest purely electric car in the market today is the Hyundai Ioniq, priced around $45,000. The price is quite eye watering when you compare it to its closest combustible rival; the Hyundai i30, that retails around the $20,000 mark.
When you start to factor in the much cheaper maintenance, low running costs and the lower depreciation of an EV, it softens the blow a little and slightly evens out the disparity in costs.
Long term ownership is key if you’re hoping to save money by purchasing an EV, allowing time for the savings on maintenance and running to justify the high initial purchase price.
There are still a lot of variables at play here though, with electricity prices varying state to state, off peak and on peak charging, petrol prices fluctuating, insurance costs for EVs are also considerably higher.
Luckily for us, the technology is improving, more players are entering the market and the cost of EVs is gradually coming down. In the not too distant future EVs will be priced alot closer to “normal” cars and they will become a much more cost effective purchase.
Charging and Range –
The travelling distance of a combustible car is far superior to the electrics at the moment, but batteries are improving and the average range for EVs is up around the 450kms per charge, which in most circumstances is more than enough for a weekly commute and to put your range anxiety at ease.
Long distance traveling is still quite limited at this stage with charging stations few and far between, but as the charging network continues to grow, so does the ability to take these longer road trips.
High voltage fast chargers can see a lot of EVs charge to about 80% in under an hour, whereas if you decide to charge at home, an overnight charge is usually required. Most EV owners top up their batteries at the stations whenever possible and the stop start driving in traffic will charge the batteries of those cars fitted with regenerative braking.
Are Electric Cars Really Clean though?
Yes and No. But mostly yes.
Manufacturing electric vehicles does use more energy than producing “normal” cars but side by side EVs are still better for the environment than internal combustion engines.
There is a lot of research out there now that proves just how much better EVs are for the planet, but there is also some considerations that need to be taken into account.
The mining for the rare earth metals that are needed for the batteries is going to ramp up as demand for the materials increase. The good news here is that the batteries are able to be recycled and re used after their 10 year average lifespan.
The majority of battery charging should ideally be done with renewable energy from solar etc, rather than the dirty electrical grids.
This will probably not be the case though unfortunately.
If people are able to charge their EVs from a renewable source, than they’re effectively driving a 100% emissions free car. Charging at home over night is where the issues start, with overloading the grid a problem that companies are working on a solution to.
Vehicle to grid technology is being rolled out overseas and is now being discussed for trials here in Australia. Vehicle to grid basically means that you can use your EVs battery to power your household.
Here’s a good video that touches on some of the points regarding the manufacturing process of electric cars. Note that the video is a few years old and technology has improved a lot in recent times. Electric cars are produced and run even more efficiently than ever.
What lies ahead?
The electric vehicle revolution is very much upon us and we are driving head on into the future of motoring.
Manufacturers are currently in an arms race to develop new tech, longer range batteries with faster charging times and more power. There is even whispers around that Lamborghini are working on a patent that will bring a familiar performance sound to their electric vehicles.
We really are experiencing a massive shift in the landscape of the automotive industry with a whole heap of new EVs hitting the Australian market in the next 18 months with 2019 being a landmark year in steps to making EV’s a more mainstream option for Aussies.
The complicated issues such as power grid management and the charging network infrastructure are being worked on in preparation for the influx of EVs and more competition is driving down the prices, which at the moment seems to be the biggest deterrent for people considering the electric options available.
This once in a lifetime and historic period of the automotive industry should be enjoyed and embraced and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in the next decade.
If you’re interested in saving some money on your new car (electric or otherwise) by group buying, get in touch today and let us help you.