Electric vehicles (EVs) have become the bright spark of the past decade. As more people, businesses and car manufacturers embrace the low-emission transport option, EV technology has developed quickly, transforming and testing the automotive industry. Like any emerging technology, there’s a lot to learn.
Let’s go through the true, the false and the outdated facts about EVs.
“EVs will replace petrol cars.”
According to the statistics, it’s safe to say that EVs are here to stay. Our world’s energy ecosystem is changing and EVs have become an increasingly popular option for the mainstream market, not just the eco and tech trailblazers. EV adoption has been slower in Australia compared to other developed countries, but as charging infrastructure expands, EV batteries decrease in cost, and the range of EV models developed and released increases, the number of EVs you see on the road is projected to accelerate quickly. In the next few years, the price and range of EVs is expected to match petrol cars#. With these developments, reports are expecting EVs to account for 10% of all global passenger vehicle sales by 2025, and 58% by 2040^.
“All EVs are fully powered by electricity.”
There are three different types of EV that can get you from A to B.
- Battery electric vehicle (BEV)
A fully electric vehicle is referred to as a battery electric vehicle, or BEV. Plug-in, charge up and drive on—it’s as simple as that.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)
PHEVs feature an internal combustion engine, like a traditional car, in addition to electricity, and the petrol engine is only used when there is insufficient charge in the battery. If you’re just warming up to the idea of an EV, this might be a good place to start, but it does mean that you aren’t able to make the most of all the benefits that fully electric vehicles have to offer, including: zero emission transport, lower servicing and maintenance costs (because you still have a petrol engine) and you’ll still need to make regular trips to the fuel station.
- Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)
FCEVs use a fuel cell rather than a chemical battery and are typically powered by hydrogen. Usually, the hydrogen is created by splitting water and oxygen in a process called ‘electrolysis’, which uses 100% electricity.
You may see non-plug-in hybrid EVs (HEVs) on the market too. These cars, as the name suggests, don’t have a plug for you to charge your car. Unlike the plug-in variant, the petrol and electric motor work together to power the vehicle, but still rely heavily on fuel, so we’ve decided not to include it on this list.
Rest assured though, there’s an EV type for everyone—no matter how you use your car.
“EVs are expensive.”
Not for long.
Worldwide leader in electric vehicle sales, Tesla Inc., made their name with the Roadster in 2008—a impressive, high-end electric sports car—which may have contributed to the idea that electric vehicles are extravagant and expensive. For many years, their price has been a barrier for many people, but this is changing very quickly. From 2010–20, lithium-ion battery packs, the batteries used in most electric cars, have fallen in price by 89%^. Not to mention, Australia is the number one lithium-producing country in the world—by a lot**.
Currently, the MG ZS EV Essence is one of the best-selling electric vehicles in Australia—and one of the cheapest. With the price of batteries continuing to decrease, experts are expecting EVs to match the price and range of petrol vehicles by the mid-2020s.# Australia is seeing this reality already with the two sub-$35,000 electric cars expected to be released in Australia in late 2021 or early 2022. Pair this with the added benefit of lower servicing costs and the ability to charge up for free with the power from your solar panels, electric vehicles may have been out of reach in the past, but this fact is turning to fiction with every passing day.
“EVs don’t have as much power as petrol or diesel cars.”
This new breed of car may use a different fuel source, but power and speed are two things that are definitely not compromised. The lack of transmission actually allows an EV to accelerate faster than a petrol car, with the world’s quickest electric car going from 0–100 km/h in just 1.9 seconds+.
Away from the hypercars and into the real world, if you take a new EV and compare it to its petrol equivalent, you’ll see a big difference in torque—in favour of the EV. Torque is the twisting force that gives your car the power to tow heavy loads and climb steep hills. The more torque your car has, the more easily it will perform power-heavy tasks. The simplicity of electric motors, including the lack of moving parts and instant power (rather than having to rev up an engine), is what contributes to roughly double the amount of torque in an EV, when compared to an equivalent petrol model. That’s no golf buggy!
“EVs run out of charge quickly.”
Say good-bye to ‘range anxiety'.
Imagine waking up to a full tank of fuel every day of the week—that’s the reality of an EV. The range of a vehicle refers to the kilometres you can travel on one tank of fuel or one fully charged battery, and the average Australian travels 36 kms per day*. The range of your EV will differ based on model, type of EV, how and where you drive, and how many passengers you have, but currently, EVs have an average range of 300–600 kms per charge. That’s roughly from Canberra to Sydney—and back again.
ACT residents currently have the highest uptake of EVs in Australia. While many EV owners charge up at home, it’s important that the public infrastructure keeps up with the quickly accelerating number of EVs. Our partnership with Evie Networks, a national leader in EV charging infrastructure, is bringing more charging sites to the capital region and beyond. Pair that with the technological advancements that are coming with every new EV that hits the market, and ‘range anxiety’ will be a thing of the past for all ACT EV-owners.
ActewAGL is here to support you to transition to drive cleaner and cheaper with electricity. Read more about how you can plug in and power up.
Solar power and electric vehicles go hand in hand. For all things solar, and to get up to date with the jargon, check out our solar glossary.
Already accelerated to an EV? We can arrange your on-site EV charger installation from end to end. From a single residential plug at home, to custom commercial fleet installation, we’ve got you.
Maximise the power of your energy investment with an electricity plan designed just for EV owners. Read more about our EVolve plan.