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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
Electric vehicles (EVs) have long been hyped as the car of the future and in 2010 that future will arrive in Australia, but significant barriers remain that could prevent the uptake of EVs Dow n Under. Electric vehicle showrooms in 2010 Mitsubishi's i-MiEV will go on sale this year, as will Tesla Motors' electric Roadster, and the Nissan LEAF will soon follow. Strong demand is expected with recent market research showing that one third of Australian s will consider an EV for their next purchase. A recent NSW Gover nment study also found that EVs will have a competitive total cost of ownership, since the low cost of electric versus petrol motoring as well as EVs' reduced maintenance can outweigh the battery degradation cost and higher initial prices. Electric vehicles for Australia Dr Andrew Simpson Table: Lifetime costs per kilometre for each engine configuration in 2010 and 20404 Engine Type Small Passenger Medium Passenger Large Passenger Light Commercial Ta xi 2010 2040 2010 2040 2010 2040 2010 2040 2010 2040 ICE $0.263 $0.264 $0.286 $0.287 $0.352 $0.355 $0.277 $0.279 $0. 271 $0. 275 HEV $0.299 $0.245 $0.318 $0.272 $0.380 $0.341 $0.299 $0.264 $0.321 $0.264 PHEV $0.297 $0.217 $0.313 $0.227 $0.469 $0.274 $0.365 $0.214 $0.466 $0.234 EV $0.260 $0.191 $0.270 $0.199 $0.416 $0.243 $0.318 $0.185 $0.438 $0.220 Source: AECOM EVs coming to the Australian market in 2010 -- the Mitsubishi iMiEV and Tesla Roadster EVs and the environment EVs will also be good for Australia's environment, reducing toxic urban air pollution by 150kg per vehicle per year. Tasmania's significant use of hydro-electricity will allow a typical EV to reduce greenhouse gases by over three tonnes per year, but even in Victoria the EVs will only be slightly worse (if not marginally better) than petrol due to the efficiency of electric drive. EV motorists can also easily recharge with 100% GreenPower, costing only a few cents more for tr uly zero emissions. 'Range anxiety' from a lack of recharging infrastr ucture is often cited as a barrier, but global experience has found that early adopters will adapt to EVs' capabilities and that these customers may gobble up the EV supply until at least 2015. Utilities are more concer ned about how a large-scale uptake of EVs could impact on their network, but smart grids can allow many EVs to be recharged using excess off-peak capacity without needing to build new power plants or greatly affecting retail electricity prices. What is needed urgently is a streamlined process for smart infrastr ucture deployment with cooperation from gover nments and utilities. Looking forward The global EV industry is experiencing rapid growth and is expected to reach 10% or more of new vehicle sales by 2020. But unless Australia can overcome the bar riers from our stifled green car market, our lack of experience with EV technology, and delays in the upgrade to smart charging infrastructure, we may miss out on the global movement to a future of zero- emissions electric motoring. Dr Andrew Simpson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute. CUSP's project on renewable transport is exploring the integrated use of electric vehicles, smart grids and renewable energy for the sustainability of our cities. 14 August / September 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010