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Labor Says 50% Electric Cars By 2030….Can It Be Done?

In what could be a crucial first shot for the environmentalists vote in an upcoming Australian Federal election, Labor leader Bill Shorten has stated a couple of goals need to be achieved in respect to electric vehicles. The goals themselves are simple to read.

By 2030 half of all new vehicle sales are to be of the electric variety. By 2025 half of the Australian government’s fleet are to be electric. A change to the taxation structure for businesses needs to be implemented, in that an allowable deduction of 20% for depreciation for private fleet EVs of a cost of over $20,000.

 

Sounds relatively simple. However, the devil is in the detail. There are self-interest groups such as the Australian Institute of Petroleum. There are the pricing issues of EVs versus petrol/diesel/hybrid cars. Then there are the human factors such as “range anxiety”, a lack of knowledge of where charging points are, and even a push-back against the technology itself. There are elements of distrust to be overcome also, and yet there are a couple of fair questions, such as the cost of a replacement EV battery, and the ecological impact of dissecting and recycling (if possible) the battery’s elements.

Charge Points.
https://www.drivezero.com.au/electric-car-charging-stations/ is one of many sites to use but the end result is that maps do show just how accessible a charge point is, and this site also shows state by state and the kind of plugs available.

Cost.
It is, absolutely no doubt, a barrier. It’s been raised over and over again and although a brand or two can be pointed to as being “exxy”, in real terms an EV is far cheaper than what they potentially could be. But then there is the actual CHARGE cost. WhichCar editor David Bonnici provided some figures in late 2018, saying: the new Nissan Leaf consumes 10kWh/100km. If you’re paying 0.28c per kWh (an average price during peak periods within Victoria) it will cost you $2.80 (10kW x 0.28) to charge it enough to travel 100km. The Leaf has a claimed 400km range, which means a full charge will cost you $11.20 ($2.80 x 4).

When plasma TVs then LCD TVs were introduced, their costs were seen as stupidly prohibited, with rumours at the time of release of a TV network, being an early adopter, paying $30K for a 42 inch plasma. Plasma has gone the way of the dodo and now 8K tv is on its way, which will spur the production of 8K content, even as DVD still, somehow, manages to hang on. The screens have come down in cost and by huge margins. In screen size and in quality those have gone up. The point here is that technology has a habit of dropping in real price terms for the level of tech being offered. There is simply no reason to expect EVs to reverse that trend and the Tesla Model 3 is an example of that.

Then: The Jaguar I-Pace on the other hand is rated at 19kWh/100km, which means it costs $5.32 for a 100km trip and $25.53 for a full charge to travel its claimed 480km range. Considering the ridiculous fluctuation in unleaded petrol prices, which at the time of writing are around $1.40 for E10, that charge cost isn’t so hard to deal with.

Charge Time:
The timeframe for a partial or empty to full charge is also coming down, with better battery charging technology making substantial differences. The Nissan Leaf, for example has varying rates depending on source. Starting from a depleted battery, about 20 hours at 110-120V (depending on amperage), approximately 7 hours at 208-240V (depending on amperage) and about 30 minutes at 480V (quick-charging station).

Tesla’s solar powered and battery fueled supercharger stations offer a different setup. The supercharging stations charge with up to 135 kW of power distributed between two cars with a maximum of 120 kW per car. They take about 20 minutes to charge to 50%, 40 minutes to charge to 80%, and 75 minutes to 100% on the original 85 kWh Model S.

Summation:
This article was NOT intended to be an in-depth industry look. It was intended to provide a general overview at what is involved in the EV business. It is not intended to be an endorsement or dis-endorsement of a Labor policy. There is and will continue to be misinformation and misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of where to go for a charge but that information is readily available as fact.

The answer to the question posed is yes. It can be done. There are a few VERY important factors to be overcome, such as infrastructure, information provision, and perceived cost. And then there is the perception of how a purely electric vehicle drives.

That’s simple. Go and drive one. Companies have vehicles for demonstration. And there really is no better demonstration of one brand’s ability than this (with thanks to our friends at CarAdvice): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eGhjhx8O9M

One comment

  1. Keith Quick says:

    1. The graph showing costs does not say what the costs are for – is this for a given distance? If so, for what make of car? The data as shown are meaningless.

    2. The charging network is at present totally inadequate, particularly outside metro areas. For example, in our town of 60,000 people there are only two charging points, neither are fast charge. One is solely for use of residents/guests of a resort complex, the other is a single point outside a shopping mall – this is always occupied, and very often just used as parking space for a non-electric car. With a minimum charge time of 30 mins, and more likely two hours, how can this possibly be adequate? Home charging is fine for residents who are able to install the equipment, but what about the tens of thousands of holiday visitors, many of whom are just staying for the day?

    April 23rd, 2019 at 11:12 am