Shhh. Electric Cars Creep Into the Australian Market.
The first production line of fully electric vehicles began in Australia in 2008. Since then, more models and different price points have been offered to consumers each year. Today, the electric car movement is starting to gather speed, with more public charging stations being installed and more affordable models introduced to the Australian market.
What is an electric car?
Electric cars are powered by electric motors. These are powered by a controller, which gets its power from an array of rechargeable batteries. Unlike petrol-powered cars, electric vehicles don’t produce exhaust or emissions.
How can I tell if a car is electric?
For starters, just listen. An electric car is almost silent to drive. Then take a look under the bonnet. Here you’ll find a network of wires, far different from the standard petrol-fuelled plumbing project of exhaust pipes and coolant hoses.
Are there different types?
Yes! There are two main types of electric cars: battery-electric, known as an electric vehicle (EV), and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (known as PHEV). As it sounds, a PHEV type car has a petrol or diesel power system, which can generate additional power when needed. An EV relies on a rechargeable, storage battery as its only power source.
What are the benefits of going electric?
Besides being more environmentally friendly, electric cars are cheaper to run. When charged overnight, and when cheaper off-peak electricity tariffs apply, it can cost you as little as $2 to travel 100km in an electric car. Electric cars also have fewer parts, making them less expensive to repair and replace.
How often do I have to recharge?
Electric cars can be charged at home or at work using designated charging outlets. In Australia, public charging stations are popping up in populated cities and towns, along with ‘fast charging units’ in major cities, which can recharge a battery in less than 30 minutes. Each electric car offers a slightly different range of distance, depending on the capacity of the battery, which then affects the initial cost of the car.
How much does an electric car cost?
The all-electric 2014 Tesla model S was recently launched in Australia. While it may cost close to $127,000, the Tesla is said to travel 480km on a single charge. On the other hand, manufacturers like Nissan and Mitsubishi offer a range of more affordable electric cars in Australia. A second-hand 2010 Mitsubishi i-MiEV can be found online starting from $16,000) with vehicles that typically cover a range of 100–175km when charged.
How does Australia stack up against other countries?
Perhaps not surprisingly, electric cars have been adopted in greater numbers in Europe, Japan and North America. In some locations, governments have focused on raising awareness for renewable and alternative energy solutions as well as offering consumers incentives and tax relief. Within Australia however, the lack of government subsidies (at all levels) would have a noticeable effect on electric car sales.
What does the future hold for electric cars in Australia?
With improved infrastructure and greater awareness around green energy solutions the future of electric cars in Australia looks promising. But it’s up to all of us to spread the word and encourage others to seek out smarter ways to travel.
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21 July 2015
Category: Lumo Community