An electric car
is powered by an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine. The electric
motor gets energy from a controller, which regulates the amount of power—based
on the driver’s use of an accelerator pedal. The electric car (also known as
electric vehicle or EV) uses energy stored in its rechargeable batteries, which
are recharged by common household electricity.
hybrid car—which is fueled by gasoline and uses a battery and motor to improve
efficiency—an electric car is powered exclusively by electricity. Historically, EVs have not been widely adopted because of
limited driving range before needing to be recharged, long recharging times,
and a lack of commitment by automakers to produce and market electric cars that
have all the creature comforts of gas-powered cars. That has changed. As
battery technology improved—simultaneously increasing energy storage and
reducing cost—major automakers introduced a new generation of electric cars.
are a proven technology with strong environmental, economic and social
benefits. Electric vehicles can be powered by renewable energy, and could
reduce emissions in the transport sector to help Australia meet its Paris
Agreement emissions reduction goals at a lower cost. They also offer benefits
to public health, through reducing air pollution in cities, and could generate
Australian jobs in sales, charging infrastructure deployment, and potentially
the manufacture of batteries and electric vehicle components.
Fueling with electricity offers some advantages not
available in conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. Because electric
motors react quickly, EVs are very responsive and have very good torque.
EVs are often more digitally connected than conventional vehicles, with many EV
charging stations providing the option to control charging from a smartphone
Just like a smartphone, you can plug in your EV
when you get home and have it ready for you to use the next morning.
Since the electric grid is available almost anywhere, there are a variety of
options for charging: at home, at work or on the road.
By charging often, you may never need to go to a gas station again!
There are also some
disadvantages of the electric cars, Electric cars are limited as to the
distance that they can be driven before complete battery failure; average range
is only about 100 miles. Electric cars cannot cruise, accelerate, or climb fast
enough to compete with gasoline-powered cars and accessories, such as air conditioning
and radios, drain the battery even further. Electric cars are usually
created by replacing the fuel tank and gasoline engine of a conventional car
with electric motors, batteries, chargers, and controllers, the result is a car
that is heavier and less efficient than a car solely running on
electricity. Electric cars are more expensive because the manufacturer
cannot fully recover the cost of the discarded parts and new parts and
technology are expensive. Electric vehicles are not completely “emission-free.”
If the electricity used is produced by a coal or oil-fired generator, this only
transfers the emissions from the tailpipe to the power plant.
Despite these benefits, Australia is falling behind on
electric vehicle uptake. While there are two million electric vehicles on the
road globally, just 1369 electric vehicles were sold in Australia in 2016,
representing 0.1 per cent of the market.1 International evidence suggests a
strong correlation between cumulative electric vehicle sales and the number of
vehicle models being offered. An anticipated improvement in the number of lower
cost models available in Australia is likely to increase sales. Australia’s
relatively slow rate of electric vehicle uptake stands in contrast to positive
consumer attitudes. Our survey of 504 Victorians found that 50.2 per cent of
respondents would be willing to consider purchasing an electric vehicle, and
that 19 per cent had researched the options for purchasing an electric vehicle.
However, purchase cost and the distance able to be travelled on a charge remain
The State of
Electric Vehicles report provides an up-to-date assessment of the state of
Australia’s electric vehicles industry. Through annual updates, the report will
track Australia’s progress towards lower emissions, more cost-effective light
vehicle fleet. This structured into four sections, and provides key data
against a range of barriers to electric vehicle uptake:
vehicle uptake in Australia, including electric vehicle sales numbers over a
six year period, both by jurisdiction and market segment. This section also
provides an overview of historical, current and future model availability in
infrastructure, reviewing the roll out of electric vehicle charging
infrastructure across Australia by state and location.
attitudes, presenting the results of an online survey carried out by the Royal
Automotive Club of Victoria (RACV) which asked 504 Victorians about their
perceptions of electric vehicles. The results of this survey are consistent
with similar consumer attitudes surveys conducted in other areas of Australia
vehicle policy in Australia, reviewing implemented policy across federal, state
and territory jurisdictions. While local governments also play an important
role in supporting electric vehicle uptake, an assessment of local government
policy was not within the scope of this report.
vehicle uptake in Australia
Globally, the number of electric
vehicles sold each year is growing rapidly, with a 40 per cent increase from
2015 to 2016, to reach sales volumes of over 750,000 in 2016. There are now
more than two million electric vehicles on the road.2 In contrast, Australian
electric vehicle sales fell 23 per cent from 2015 to 2016. Australians
purchased 701 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and 668 fully electric vehicles
in 2016, making up 0.1 per cent of the Australian market.3 The decline in
electric vehicle sales may be linked in part to the limited number of lower
priced models available in 2016.
Australia’s states and territories
differ in their rate of electric vehicle uptake. In the last six years,
Victorians have purchased the highest number of electric vehicles, with 1,017
vehicles purchased between 2011 and 2016 (excluding Tesla vehicle numbers).
However, taking into account market size, the ACT is outperforming other
jurisdictions: in 2016, ACT residents purchased 18 electric vehicles for every
10,000 vehicles sold.
Business is the largest buyer of
electric vehicles at 64 per cent of total sales in 2016. In its recent report
on the emissions intensity of Australia’s new vehicle fleet, the National
Transport Commission presented detailed sales data for a selection of electric
vehicle models. This data indicates that over the period of 2011 to 2016, the
majority of sales were from manufacturer fleets and dealer demonstrators (62
per cent of total sales)4. In Australia’s developing electric vehicle market,
vehicle manufacturers use their own fleet and demonstrator vehicles for
promotion and education. These vehicles are then sold as ex-demonstrator or
ex-executive vehicles. As the market matures, the proportion of vehicles in
this category is likely to decrease: for the overall vehicle market in
Australia, manufacturer fleets and dealer demonstrators make up only 20 per
cent of total sales.
Private buyers also make up a
substantial portion of the market, at 34 per cent of total sales. In contrast,
government fleets make up only 2 per cent of total sales. Given the greater
purchasing power of fleets in comparison to individual buyers, increasing sales
in this segment represents a significant opportunity for governments to lead
electric vehicle uptake in Australia.
Perceptions around the availability of
public charging infrastructure can be crucial to electric vehicle uptake. While
research shows that most electric vehicle charging will occur at home or in the
workplace9, widespread public infrastructure is needed to mitigate range
anxiety on the part of prospective purchasers.
There are currently 476 dedicated
electric vehicle public charging stations in Australia. While Victoria has the
highest number of charging stations, the Australian Capital Territory is
leading on a per capita basis with 3.5 chargers per 100,000 residents. Charging
stations are currently concentrated in capital cities, however, there is an
expanding regional network as regional towns and cities are capitalising on the
potential tourism benefits of providing electric vehicle charging
infrastructure. In addition, governments, membership organisations and vehicle
manufacturers are installing electric vehicle fast charging highways, with fast
charging available at regular intervals along high-use regional routes. For
example, the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in Western Australia has installed 11
fast charging stations in south west WA, while Tesla has installed Tesla
Superchargers to allow travel between Melbourne and Brisbane, with plans to
connect to Adelaide and common holiday destinations.
Charging infrastructure comes in a
variety of forms. Currently, the majority of chargers available in Australia
are AC chargers. AC charging is used primarily for locations where an electric
vehicle will be parked for more than an hour. AC Charging power levels range
from 2.4kW to 22kW, with an average installation of 11kW charging a vehicle at
approximately 50km of range per hour. In contrast DC chargers provide much
faster charging, and are thus more useful for travelling long distance between
cities. There are currently 40 DC charging stations available in Australia.
Consumer attitudes are vital to
understanding purchasing decisions and the motivations behind electric vehicle
uptake in Australia. Through an online survey carried out by RACV on behalf of
the Electric Vehicle Council, 504 Victorians were asked about their perceptions
of electric vehicles. In reviewing the responses, there was a relatively even
response rate based on gender (53 per cent female and 47 per cent male) and
across age demographics (approximately 5-10 per cent across 12 age categories).
The results of the survey demonstrated
that while many people are willing to consider purchasing an electric vehicle,
purchase cost and access to charging infrastructure remain key barriers to
uptake Of the respondents, 50 per cent said that they would consider buying an
electric vehicle and 19 per cent of respondents had spent time researching the
options for buying an electric vehicle. Key selling points were the
environmental friendliness of the vehicles and cost savings on fuel and
maintenance. Conversely, 40 per cent of respondents said they would not
consider buying an electric vehicle with range and access to charging
infrastructure issues common concerns.
Vehicle Policy in Australia
International experience has
demonstrated that policy can be critical in encouraging the uptake of electric
vehicles. In comparison to our global peers, policy support for electric
vehicles in Australia remains in its early stages. Australia does not currently
have an overarching electric vehicle policy framework, which limits the
capacity for a coordinated national approach. For example, the Commonwealth
Government provides a discount on the luxury car tax, and a number of states
and territories provide varying discounts on stamp duty and registration for
electric vehicles. A number of state and territory governments also provide
information and education for the public and business.
Some state and territory governments
have begun to recognise the need for greater investment in electric vehicles.
These governments have developed policies to support the deployment of charging
infrastructure and to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in their own
fleets. For example, the Queensland Government is working with Energy
Queensland to roll out a network of fast chargers that will allow electric
vehicle drivers to travel the 1,800 km between Cairns and the Gold Coast. The
Australian Capital Territory Government requires government fleet managers to
consider a car’s environmental impact in addition to functionality and lease
cost, and also provides the largest stamp duty and registration discount. These
policies could be contributing to the relatively high rate of electric vehicle
uptake in the ACT, which has the highest electric vehicle market share of any
state or territory.
More people are choosing to
live in cities or major conurbations. Those cities are getting more and more
legislation concerning air quality, and that puts cars right in the front line.
While rural dwellers far from recharging points, and with big distances between
towns, may not really see the attraction, city dwellers have already embraced
electric power not just for their apartments but for their transport too.
They’ll have less choice
anyway as legislation is heading towards only zero-emission vehicles having
access to cities. So with lots of vehicle choice, and with range anxiety slowly
fading, what are the best all-electric cars? There are top 10 cars which I have
1. Volkswagen e-Up
The electric version
of the tremendous Up feels just as good as the normal city car, but it’s
quieter and very city-friendly. And costs twice as much as the petrol version.
2. Nissan Leaf
The Astra-sized Leaf
is practical, easy to drive and good value. You get a theoretical 124 miles of
range but if you go for a higher trim level you can get this extended to 155
miles. Or so.
3. Toyota Mirai
The electric motor in
the Mirai is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, making for a quiet and decent
drive in this eye-catching saloon. But refueling stations are few and far
between, and the asking price of £66,000 will keep this a rare sight on the
4. Kia Soul EV
If you like the Soul,
then you’ll really enjoy the EV version, which drives even better than the
petrol car, with more torque and more zip. However, it also costs more money,
and a cabin that feels more utility than future-chic.
5. Tesla Model X
Over time the cabin of
the Model X is getting more upmarket, and frankly it needs to for the price.
But other than that, you’re getting serious pace and luxury with low running
costs and green credentials.
6. Hyundai Ioniq
The EV version of the
Ioniq is a decent car by any standards, and there’s enough pace and range
(about 175 miles) to please most drivers. You can also get a hybrid or plug-in
hybrid version if you prefer.
7. Volkswagen e-Golf
Take the conventional,
highly-regarded hatchback, and convert it to electric propulsion. The result is
the same terrific Golf but with lower running costs and less noise.
8. BMW i3
BMW went the other
route and started from scratch with the i3. The battery pack is low, and the
light weight of the carbonfibre and aluminium body results in a
decent-handling, nippy car. It’s quite a looker too.
9. Tesla Model S
It’s expensive but you
get a huge amount for your money. There’s the futuristic cabin for seven with
everything run from the 17in touchscreen, plus there is decent range and
performance that is seriously, startlingly fast.
10. Renault Zoe
This is a terrific
city car for four people that looks and handles like a normal small hatchback,
yet it costs very little to run. There’s the practicality of decent space
including a largish boot, as well as surprising low-down shove to get you away
from the lights in style.
The progress that the
electric vehicle industry has seen in recent years is not only extremely
welcomed, but highly necessary in light of the increasing global greenhouse gas
levels. As demonstrated within the economic, social,
and environmental analysis sections of this webpage, the benefits of
electric vehicles far surpass the costs. The biggest obstacle to the widespread
adoption of electric-powered transportation is cost related, as gasoline and
the vehicles that run on it are readily available, convenient, and less costly.
As is demonstrated in our timeline, we hope that over the course of the next
decade technological advancements and policy changes will help ease the
transition from traditional fuel-powered vehicles. Additionally, the
realization and success of this industry relies heavily on the global
population, and it is our hope that through mass marketing and environmental education
programs people will feel incentivized and empowered to drive an
electric-powered vehicle. Each person can make a difference, so go electric and
help make a difference.
Hybrid and Electric Cars
2017-2018: The Best and the Rest, Hybrid and Electric Cars 2017-2018: The Best
and the Rest,