By the year of 2017 Australia’s intake of electric vehicles had increased by 44 per cent from the previous year, with overall sales up by 67 per cent from 2016 to 2017. But our emissions were still 45 per cent higher than Europe.
Despite our efforts to go greener, Australia is still far behind the 8 ball when it comes to electric vehicles, with a total of 7340 EVs to this date in comparison to 1.2 million in China.
It’s not that we aren’t interested in making the swap, in fact a Roy Morgan survey showed that more than 50 per cent of Australians are interested in purchasing an electric vehicle. Unfortunately, with a lack of government support, infrastructure, and minimal options of EVs available, making the swap can be difficult.
That being said, the future of Australia is looking greener already with a new range of affordable EVs that launched in 2018, and with another 11 EVs to be launched by the end of 2019. For anyone interested in making the swap, here are some options to consider:
We completely understand that making such a big purchase isn’t easy, especially if the only benefit mentioned so far is about reducing emissions. To make your decision easier, we have split electric vehicles into two categories – Pure electric and Hybrid. Depending on your circumstances, you may benefit more from one than the other.
Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages of electric and hybrid cars:
Pure electric vehicles
- Environmentally friendly: Pure electric cars run completely on electricity and don’t release any harmful emissions, which ultimately reduces your carbon footprint.
- Cheaper to run: Recharging is a lot cheaper when compared to petrol. The electricity to charge an ev works out to be a third as much per kilometre as petrol in the same vehicle. Calculate your potential savings.
- Cheaper to maintain: With less moving parts than a petrol/diesel operated car, very little servicing and maintenance is required.
- Renewable energy: Recharge your EV using solar power.
- Eco-friendly materials: Recent production trends feature more EVs being made out of recycled and biomaterials.
- Expensive up front: One of the biggest drawbacks to purchasing an electric vehicle is how expensive it is. The initial costs can break the bank, however, it can be argued that you would save more in the long run.
- Range: If you plan on taking a longer trip you better hope there are charging stations along the way. The distance an electric vehicle can travel will vary depending on the model, but can typically travel up to 300 kms.
- Lack of infrastructure: Unfortunately, Australia lacks charging stations, making it cumbersome to travel long distances in an electric vehicle.
- Charging time: Depending on the model of the vehicle and charging station, recharges can take anywhere between 23 minutes to 12 hours for a full charge.
Hybrids -A combination of both electric and petrol
- Environmentally friendly: Because hybrids run on fuel and electricity, they still produce less pollution than traditional vehicles.
- Cheaper to run: With a combination of fuel and electricity, you will ultimately spend less on fuel.
- Regenerative braking system: Every time you use the brakes while driving you are recharging the battery, allowing you to drive farther without having to worry about running
- Less parts: Hybrid engines are smaller, lighter, and more efficient with less parts required than a traditional vehicle which saves on energy.
- Better resale value: With petrol prices increasing, and the growth and interest of electric vehicles increasing every year, your hybrid will have better resale value.
- Range: With the perks of both electricity and petrol, hybrid cars can travel longer distances, with plenty of opportunities to refuel/recharge.
- Harmful emissions: Because a hybrid still uses petrol it still produces pollution.
- Expensive up front: Just like a pure electric vehicle, hybrids tend to cost more upfront but you’ll save money on fuel in the long run.
- Higher maintenance costs: A combination of dual engines, continuous improvement in technology, and higher maintenance costs can make it difficult to find a mechanic with an expertise in hybrids.
- Poorer performance: Compared to traditional cars, most hybrids have been designed for economy and not performance.
Making the right choice
Deciding whether or not an EV or hybrid car is right for you involves more than just the thought of being environmentally friendly. You need to consider the infrastructure and resources in your area that will allow you to maintain and sustain the car.
Are there convenient charging stations?
Based on the type of car your purchase you will also need to find a suitable mechanic who is familiar with electric and dual engines.
A pure electric car is more suited to people who live in the city and usually have short commutes. Whereas a hybrid would be best suited to someone who commutes are a little longer.
As EVs technology continues to evolve, the interest and growth of the market increases, resulting in a positive change for our environment. Be on the lookout for new models to hit our shores this year to get on board and to help sustain our future.
Are you thinking of buying a new car? Consider window tinting for the new vehicle as car makers do not always keep in might how harsh UVs can be in Australia, it will also allow you to keep cool and save on fuel or electricity that gets your Aircon running.