How Josh Pays Just $612 Per Year For Electricity, Gas & Petrol

Josh Mylne follow up story

In 2023, Josh Mylne and his family reached a milestone many aspire to: an all-electric lifestyle. Their energy bills, once soaring over $5,500, have been slashed to just $612 for the entire year, thats for both home and transport. Josh now spends only 11% of his pre-electrification yearly bills, and a mere 10% compared to the average West Australian household’s energy + fuel costs.

Recapping Josh’s Journey Pre 2023

Like many of us, Josh is a little addicted to Excel spreadsheets. Although economics wasn’t the primary motivator for electrification, the spreadsheets he created gave him confidence that his decisions were sound.

When I shared his story in early 2023, Josh had estimated that the combined rooftop solar plus battery investment would pay back in 6.4 years. We didn’t include the EV because he only had about three months of data. So now, a year later, we can add transport energy costs into the mix. First, here’s a timeline of Josh’s journey so far:

  • November 2020: He installed 6.56 kW of solar panels. The system includes 19 x 350W Qcell solar panels and a Huawei1 SUN2000 single-phase 5kW hybrid inverter.
  • November 2020: He replaced the gas hot water system with an iStore 270L heat pump.
  • November 2021: He installed 10 kW of Huawei Luna solar batteries in the garage.
  • November 2021: Solar upgrade – 7 x 350W solar panels were added to the system, bringing it to 9.1kW of solar capacity.
  • July 2022: The family ditched gas altogether, replacing the gas cooktop with an induction one.
  • September 2022: They purchased a new BYD Atto 3 electric vehicle that replaced their aging 2011 diesel Holden Captiva.
Josh Mylne and his electrical toys

Josh with some of his electrical gadgets – EV, inverter, battery, and charger.

How’s The Payback Estimate Going?

So, how is Josh tracking along with his payback estimate for the solar/battery system?

Good question! In the first estimate, we left out transport fuel costs. Since owning the EV, breaking down costs has become tricky because he now spreads electricity between home and EV usage.

To find Josh’s total household energy use, we could do one of three things (or all of them):

  1. Leave the first solar/battery estimate alone and do a total cost of ownership analysis for his EV, comparing it to “keeping his old diesel clunker”. The first solar/battery estimate was so impressive that (in my opinion) it’s a foregone conclusion that the system will pay for itself within it’s lifetime.
  2. Update the first solar/battery estimate with the last 12 month’s data, and also do the total cost of ownership analysis for the EV as above. It wouldn’t be as accurate because we would double-count electricity for the EV – once in the solar/battery payback analysis and once in the EV vs diesel vehicle comparison.
  3. Update the first solar/battery estimate with the last 12 month’s data plus fuel costs. We would also have to add fuel costs (diesel) to the initial “post solar/battery annual bills” and add the EV purchase price to “upfront costs”. It also could be inaccurate because, unlike the separate EV total cost of ownership comparison, it doesn’t include depreciation and other transport costs.

There may be other ways to do this, but I only have one lifetime, so I’m going with #1.

EV Vs ICE Vehicle Total Cost Of Ownership Calculator

I, too, have been obsessed with spreadsheets. Here’s one I prepared earlier just for this special occasion. I asked Josh to download it and compare the total cost of ownership for “buying his EV vs keeping his old Holden Captiva”. Josh loves spreadsheets, so he obliged.

With Josh’s data, the calculator estimated that his EV would be a better investment within six years than keeping his old car. Emissions, including embodied manufacturing, would also pale compared to diesel vehicles.

Not only would he be in a better financial position, but he would have enjoyed the comforts and benefits of a new vehicle rather than keeping his old wreck going with mounting maintenance bills.

Download the calculator and try it yourself.

EV vs ICE vehicle TOC calculator

EV vs ICE Vehicle Total Cost of Ownership Spreadsheet. Try it yourself!

Josh’s Total Energy Costs In 2023

Remember what Josh told us earlier about his total energy costs for 2023? Since going all-electric, he paid only $612 that year for home and transport energy costs. Sounds impressive. Let’s break it down. It’s straightforward because his only fuel now is electricity (almost).

  • Gas = $0
  • Petrol = $1372
  • Electricity = $447
  • Fast Charger = $28
  • Total = $612

Mylne Household Vs The Average Aussie Household

Before researching this article, I thought that the Mylne household (Josh and his family), living in Perth suburbia, would have fit straight into the stereotype of the average Australian household. Not any more! Here’s a snapshot:

Mylne Household Average Household
Household Size 4 2.52
Vehicles per Household 1 2.05
Yearly km per Vehicle 13,000 12,100
Yearly Fuel Bill $137 $3,2983
Yearly Electricity Bill $475 $2,2004
Yearly Gas Bill $0 $5155
Total $612 $6,013

 

So, the average household in Perth spends around $6,000 each year on total energy, while the Mylne family only spends $600(ish). That’s a saving of $5,400 annually by going all-electric. Nice work!

But let’s be honest. It’s not a true reflection of savings because they had to buy an EV to get into this position in the first place. Get out your spreadsheets; it’s time for a new comparison!

The Dylnes Next Door (Hypothetical Example)

Around the same time that the Mylne family bought their EV, the Dylne family next door, by coincidence, also needed a new car. They decided to buy a comparable-sized petrol vehicle. Lucky them. Petrol vehicles only cost around 70% of the price of EVs at the time, so they saved about $15,000! They also didn’t need none of that new fancy solar and battery waste of money. Another $17,000 saved!

The average age of a registered passenger vehicle in Australia is 10.6 years. Let’s say ten years. When the Mylne family is ready for a new car, they would have saved over $54,000. Meanwhile, the Dylnes next door would have saved a grand total of zero. But the Mylnes started behind to the tune of -$31,000. Let’s see how they went.

The Mylnes fork out $31,000 at year 0 (start of year 1), comprised of a $15,000 premium for their EV compared to a petrol one, plus $17,000 for solar and battery. They now pay $612 per year in energy costs. The Dylnes got a bogun bargain priced petrol car and didn’t pay outrageous prices for woke solar. Like many average Aussies, they pay $6013 each year for energy (petrol, gas, and electricity.)

Year Mylne Family Dylne Family
0 $31,000 $0
1 $31,612 $6,013
2 $32,224 $12,026
3 $32,836 $18,039
4 $33,448 $24,052
5 $34,060 $30,065
6 $34,672 $36,078
7 $35,284 $42,091
8 $35,896 $48,104
9 $36,508 $54,117
10 $37,120 $60,130

 

Mylnes vs Dylnes expenses

Are You A Mylne Or A Dylne?

As you can see, before year six is out, these two families will be neck and neck with expenses. By the ten-year mark, the typical age of a registered passenger car, the Mylne family have an extra $23,000 to go towards their next electric vehicle, while the Dylnes have a big fat zero. This breakdown is a simplistic example, and we haven’t considered the many other variables, but you can see the trend.

I’ll let Josh have the last word.

“Nothing can compete with the energy supply line for EVs! The power goes straight from my roof into my EV. I only wish my inverter was 10 kW instead of 5 kW, so I could really punch surplus solar into the EV on those sunny days at the full 7 kW.”

Josh updates his own blog regularly as he continues his quest to eliminate fossil fuels. Please visit his site and give him a reminder to get rid of those stinky mopeds sitting in the back of his shed.

Footnotes

  1. Huawei inverters are now sold as iStore in Australia
  2. Josh hasn’t  quite kicked his habit yet. He managed to get rid of his petrol leaf blower and brush cutter last year, but still has a couple of petrol mopeds in the garage.
  3. Although sales of EVs in Australia are booming, the percentage of registered EVs is still less than 0.1% (130,000 registered EVs vs 15.07 million registered passenger vehicles). Therefore, EV families do not affect average fuel costs. The average Perth household spends $1,609 yearly on fuel per vehicle. Multiply that by the average number of household vehicles (2.05 x $1,609 = $3,298).
  4. This statistic is for WA only (from energy retailer Synergy.)
  5. The average yearly Australian gas bill is $780. However, only approximately 66% of WA households are connected ($780 x 66% = $515).
About Kim Wainwright

A solar installer and electrician in a previous life, Kim has been blogging for SolarQuotes since 2022. He enjoys translating complex aspects of the solar industry into content that the layperson can understand and digest. He spends his time reading about renewable energy and sustainability, while simultaneously juggling teaching and performing guitar music around various parts of Australia. Read Kim's full bio.

Comments

  1. Such a shame that R134a refrigerant is still in use when alternatives are available:

    https://heatpumps.istore.net.au/ufaq/what-refrigerant-gas-does-the-istore-use/

    The builder of our new house won’t specify anything other than a CO2 heat pump. Here is a well informed article from a reputable source:

    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/heat-pumps-explained/

    I was looking at an electric moped and they do exist, BMW and Vespa are there. This got a good review, the bike, not the moped but no response from the dealer:
    https://vmotosoco.com.au/#

    YMMV

  2. Lyle Essery says

    Great article, like Josh I’m obsessed with Excel too!
    I’m in SEQ and my solar/EV journey is very similar to Josh’s. My solar is around the same size as his. Have a 6 kw hybrid inverter and same size panels. Haven’t got a house battery except for a micro offgrid solar system, independent from house mains and grid, that runs home’s lighting circuit. The new cheap and cheerful Chinese EVs are a game changer and as long as you have a single family home with decent solar system you can bring your home and transport costs to near $0. Queenland has the advantage of more sun for solar and a $6000 ev rebate. Therein, even charging a EV 20-25% SoC every day , most days we are in surplus and FIT covers evening grid imports and fixed charges. Breakeven for me is closer to 4 years.

    • Perth is the sunniest city in the world.

    • Happy to use excel but it is not very complicated to add 12 bills/refunds to work out that I’m in the black for electricity over the last 12 months. Only by a few dollars and definitely not in the thousand that it was a few years ago. Direct heat solar hot (where the booster is necessary only a few days per year) water, pool pump, tank water with pump. No need to complicate things fussing about wholesale prices nor the need to spend money on a battery which adds so many years to pay for itself that by the time it has you will need a new one. Just use all electrical drains during the day where possible.
      Ageing 10KVa system with two 5KVa inverters. No export limit. 22/12 fit. Two economical fossil fuel burners as I haven’t got a week to waste hopping from charging station to charging station to get to far western NSW to visit family.

      Buy the biggest system you can, shop around for the highest fit, use electricity during the day, keep your depreciated efficient fossil fuelburner for a few more years and don’t waste your time sitting in front of a computer stressing about a few cents.

    • Joseph Viviers says

      I know that the gas cost should include the daily charge. In my case Victoria I am also in the process of ditching gas. Have just installed the Reclaim heat pump and will soon replace the gas ducted heating with an inverter aircon ducted heating system. Hear I am paying $1.362 per day for the gas supply. Therefore it will cost me almost $500.00 per year without using a joule of gas. A massive saving in my view to ditch as as soon as possible and increase my solar to 13 kW of panels with a 10 kW inverter

  3. Bill Herfel says

    Perhaps I read it too quickly, but I found this article a little disappointing. I would like to see the breakdown for the whole system. I imagine it will have no problem breaking even, especially including the cost of buying a new ICE car.

    HOWEVER

    I have never bought a new car in my life. My current car is economical and comfortable. It is the most expensive car I have ever owned. It is a 2008 Citroen C5 diesel with 100,000km on it. Although it is nearly fully depreciated (it cost me $6000, but was $60,000 new) it has perhaps 20 years left in it for me. It may well end up being the last vehicle I own.

    What I would like to see is a full lifecycle comparison for a very economical diesel vs an EV. Also, I would like to see the upfront costs associated with “Mylne system”. I imagine it was nearly $100K. It sounds impressive to get ones power bill down to 10% what they were before solar, but without stating upfront costs the savings are meaningless.

    Furthermore, the Mylnes may well have a spare $100K around to invest in a car and solar, but most of us will need finance. Are those costs in the spreadsheet?

    I like the idea of photovoltaics. I have been advocating for their use for 30 years. I have recently installed 10kW of panels on my roof. The biggest problem is that only the rich can benefit, and the poor continue to get squeezed by higher energy costs. Renters get squeezed the most.

    It requires a lot of effort to use solar wisely, and most homeowners lack the expertise required. For instance, if the car needs to be parked at work during daylight hours, it is not going to be charged from the rooftop five days a week.

    I did see it mentioned in another post that solar may well encourage profligate use of electricity. That is a serious issue. “Free energy” is not really free.

    This comment is a bit off the cuff. However, the article raises more questions in my mind than it addresses. I would welcome some discussion.

    • Lyle Essery says

      I get your point re capital costs.
      For my setup:
      MG4 EV drive away sans Qld $6000 rebate $35,000.
      6kw hybrid solar system $6,000
      2kw micro off grid Solar energy system inc 2nd hand panels, offgrid inverter & 10kw of agm batteries ( 5 kw usable) was $2500 (self installed as is ELV system) .
      Let’s assume the life span of equipment is 10 years
      So thats $4350 per year.
      Not bad considering that for all home ( base load , cooking and how water) and transportation energy costs (ev and e-bike charging) & capital costs of equipment inc new car.

      • George Kaplan says

        Luke, how do you find the tiny range? According to ev-database.org the range can be from 210-445 km (MG4 Electric 51 kWh) to 305-625 km (MG4 Electric 77kWh). The high end is city driving in mild weather, the low end is highway driving in cold weather. Sadly there’s no highway driving in Australian summer heat figure.

        Frankly I get range anxiety just thinking about it, and that’s without factoring in the ~30% range loss over 10 years, let alone the 20 year range.

        • Lyle Essery says

          Dont have a problem with range . Last week drive to Byron Bay from redcliffe ( north briz) and back without charging . Left on 95% return at 12%.
          In 80’s i have had v8 and 6’s holdens that got less than 400km on a tank.
          Running a EV in a regular house est with decent solar is like your phone – Just plug it in when you get home.

        • Erik Christiansen says

          Having had my base model MG4 for barely a week, I have yet to fully check out range. Charging up from solar, once the 27 kw arrays & 25 kw inverters are in, makes the fossil-free cumulative range infinite. A couple of shopping trips to the larger town, with only dense overcast in between, would only be 2 * 64 = 128 km, so if the 350 km WLTP is even only 300 km the way I drive, then that’s fine. If I have to go to Melbourne, then I’d have to recharge before returning. Simples!

          I’ve designed the solar system with Victron MPPTs & battery inverters, plus Fimer PV inverters. The EVSE (car charger) is also Victron, and can either use only surplus PV, or prioritise car charging, if needed. with neither teenagers nor womenfolk in the household, car use is minimal, and shopping could wait a day if the car battery is way down, and there is appalling overcast. With 46.5 kWh of house battery, considerable range could be raided there, in extremis – at 7 kW or 35 km/h or so.

          I insisted on the MG4 with least range, because only the base model has a LiFePO₄ battery – no fire risk, can repeatedly be charged to 100%, and lasts at least twice as long as Li-Ion. We’re talking 2% p.a. capacity decline, so 60% range after 20 years. I’m 90 then, so the battery will not only outlast the car, but probably me as well.

          My brother has a Prado for towing a meaty camper trailer on 1000 km trips, but has just test driven the MG4, and is trying to convince wifey to make the switch … and let him borrow it sometimes. The Xpower is a danger to my points balance, as it hits 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds or less.

          Even with Victoria’s fossil-fostering $0 EV rebate, an MG4 or BYD Dolphin has to be $-positive in less than 4 years, I figure. And minting money after that.

          What wins me is that it is a dream to drive. (RWD vs FWD on MG ZS EV)
          Add EV from the ground up, not a cut & paste adaptation of an ICE car.

    • Kim Wainwright says

      Hi Bill. You raise two points I agree with – the poor are certainly squeezed out. They can’t afford to invest upfront to reap the benefits. With the Dylnes example in the blog it may not necessarily be their fault that they can’t compete, and it’s a problem the powers that be need to address.

      Secondly I agree that in some cases solar encourages profligate use of electricity. As you say ‘free’ energy is never free. There is always an environmental cost to manufacture anything.

      Your other point – ‘full lifecycle comparison for a very economical diesel vs an EV.’ If you follow the links in the article and read the associated blog you’ll see that full lifecycle is addressed. You can download the calculator and do the analysis yourself for diesel vs an EV. Please post your results here as we have for Josh.
      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/ev-vs-ice-excel/
      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/ev-vs-ice-tco-calc.xlsx

    • Rick Garrity says

      I do agree to certain things mentioned.

      However, the other side to the coin, does a 9.1kW system have the capacity to keep a 10kW battery topped up. How much of this is getting consumed during the day? what’s left over for the battery storage? I wouldn’t imagine much. I run a 13.2kW system on single phase and with my usage that wouldn’t work on a 10kWh storage system. it would hardly get to the halfway mark. I think people need to realize it’s not that straight cut at all. It may sound great but there are so many other factors to consider..

      • Rick I think you are mixing up kW and kWh. Last year my 13kW solar panels generated 17.0 MWh. An average of 46kWh per day. I was able to fully charge my 13kWh battery on nearly every day of the year and I still exported 10.5MWh or 29kWh per day

      • Josh Mylne says

        The 2023 article by Kim (link at start of this 2024 article) had a graphic in it that talked about how our battery went, but if you go look at the section “Does the battery get you through the night?” at https://mylne.org/solar.html you can see in the first year with the battery we were 93% self-sufficient for energy. We had no trouble charging the 10 kWh battery almost every day of the year.

        Once we added an EV to the mix self-sufficiency dropped from 93%, but only 1-2%, so about 92% self-sufficient for energy because we tried to use only surplus solar.

        I have not published the 12 months data, but I did publish a 10 month pre-vs post-EV comparison at https://twitter.com/j_mylne/status/1697207448980144221

        Of course everyone’s systems and energy uses will differ, but this has been our n=1 experience?

      • There is also the problem that while it seems good for the environment to use your solar panels to charge your car you are robbing the grid of that electricity.

        With our grid relying on fossil fuels for the majority of electricity production you and everyone else enjoying the warm feeling of using their panels to charge their car are still burning fossil fuels, albeit indirectly, to charge their electric car.

        • Lyle essery says

          A deeper dive into self consumption of solar energy produced on site would find it very worthwhile charging EV’s.
          1. Australia had hardly any liquid fuel resources but lots of coal & gas. Even if changing a EV off a fossil grid its way less environmentally damaging than drilling oil, transportation to refineries, distilling and transportation to fuel outlets and inefficiencies in the ICE system. Also better for trade as coal and gas comes Australia and most liquid fuels are imported.
          2. Self consumption at the peak solar production helps energy companies manage unwieldy renewables as currently there is too much solar 10 am – 2 pm so charging your ev wont take away renewables for your neighbour’s consumption.
          3. A huge capital cost and energy losses is transmission. Self consumption has reduces transmission costs and has no transmission losses.

        • Robert Cruikshank says

          Actually if you are watching what is happening with solar installation you’ll know that new regulations are being implemented around the country to allow electricity grids to curtail solar energy because there is too much renewable energy on the grid.

          That’s why I can charge my car for nothing in the middle of the day with Amber Electric. It’s common for the FiT to be negative on the Ausgrid network here is Sydney because they can’t take the abundance of renewal energy and from time to time the supply tariff is also negative.

          In SA its almost always negative during the day making it difficult for people to spot trade on the NEM unless they can automatically curtail solar when the FiT goes negative as they end up paying hundreds or dollars to the electricity supplier for the privilege of exporting solar energy to the grid.

          This is only going to increase.

          Here’s an example of negative FiT and ST from a couple of days ago:
          https://cruikshank-my.sharepoint.com/:i:/g/personal/robert_cruikshank_onmicrosoft_com/EaelEtFwcG5PsIq1Pf1tlEABRaHO6q1z3iHqRcWmfGFJ_Q?e=jUkdbT

          The norm is perhaps 0 to -9 cents FiT on most sunny days.

          And its incorrect to believe that using an ICE car is ever going to be more environmentally sound than and EV as ICE cars are about 30% efficient and even if an EV is using coal generated electricity its still closer to 95% efficient. So you don’t produce near as much coal based CO2 in a EV as you do petrol based CO2 in an ICE car. And that’s why there are cheaper to run.

          • Ian Thompson says

            “EV using Coal is close to 95% efficient” – say what?!

            Sorry Robert – with respect, I think you may be dreaming – or at the very least, not comparing ‘apples with apples’.

            Do you not know that most of our old, decrepit coal power stations are only about 30% efficient to start with (but let’s say 35%)? That transmission losses may reach 5%, making them 95% efficient (let’s say 98%). That battery chargers are seldom better than 96% efficiency. That the battery ’round trip’ efficiency is unlikely to be better than 98%. That the EV’s motor drive electronics are likely to be less that 95% efficient. That even the best electric motors, operating at their peak efficiency point, are unlikely to exceed 98% – many way, way down when running off-design (like an ICE does – a good ICE can reach 45% efficiency at high loads).

            Multiply all these (rather optimistic) efficiencies together, and you get a best possible system efficiency of about 30% – from coal fuel to motor output. Probably considerably less than these extremely optimistic figures, as an EV motor seldom operates at its optimum power point (e.g. at cruise, when rotor windage, parasitic losses e.g., fans & cooling pumps, inverter switching losses, and bearing friction become a more significant %age of the power produced); and it is known that fast charging degrades efficiency significantly.

            Of course – if you charge from home solar, slowly, the power station and transmission losses don’t come into the equation – but I’d argue you would still be unlikely to reach 95% efficiency for an EV motor (ignoring all the downstream losses). I’d say likely well less than 80% in practical terms.

  4. Robert Cruikshank says

    He should have a look at amber electric. He might get his electricity bill into the negative. I’ve managed to get my 2023 Q4 electricity bill down to -$46 (including charging my Tesla Model Y Perf) by spot trading on amber’s NEM like marketplace. I do that with my home automation system.

    I have only 5kWp of QCELL solar cells and a 10kWh sonnen battery installed in 2018/19. Battery is at about 85% capacity after 5 years. I still have a gas bill though. $183 for Q4 2023.

    Some people are making hundreds of dollars a quarter with big Tesla batteries and solar curtailment. But my pore old sonnen can only do 3.3kW in/out power.

    The big difference with spot trading electricity is that you don’t want too much solar on your roof. In fact you can probably do quite well with no solar cells and a big battery. This is because electricity supply is very cheap during the day and can be negative from time to time so who needs to put solar on the roof? Just use all the nearly free solar energy in the street around you.

    If you have too much on the roof then you end up paying too much as the feed-in tariff is definitely negative often, especially when the sun is shining. So a big battery or hot water system or EV or all three or solar curtailment is required to soak up all the solar energy when the feed-in tariff is negative.

    So when your solar installer tells you that batteries don’t pay for themselves they are wrong.

    • Robert – Amber Electric doesn’t offer its services in WA. Only in states where the NEM wholesale market operates.

    • Lyle essery says

      House batteries at around $1000 per kWh , and if they last 2000 cycles suggests that each kWh of battery can make 2000 kwh of charge and discharge. So 100000 cents of battery ($1,000) will cost 50 cents per kWh over its service life. Not cheap storage and still have to add cost of energy as grid or forgone FiTs and depreciation of solar energy system etc to charge it.
      I agree with your solar installers that batteries aren’t a economically feasible thing unless you has sophisticated spot trading capabilities. Which I think is off the radar of regular plebs who just want to live their lives.

      • Robert Cruikshank says

        My battery has already done 1600 cycles and is under warranty for 10,000 cycles or 10 years (which ever comes first). That doesn’t mean it’s dead after 10,000 cycles. Sonnen LFP battery cell exceeded 28,000 cycles while retaining 65% capacity.

        I recon I can breakeven at 65% capacity (its at about 90% now) but won’t have to because that’s many years away and I’ll have upgraded to a new battery way before it gets anywhere near that old.

        The management software I use is open source and can run on a $100 computer the size of a pack of cards.

        If you don’t want to set up your own software then you use the system amber supplies which will manage your battery remotely. I get better economy from my own system and it manages other loads in the house as well (like charging the car for 3 cents per kWh and running the pool pump), not just the battery.

        • Lyle essery says

          That amazing, At 10,000 cycles the cost to store and discharge is very reasonable at around 5c kwh ( assuming around $1000 per KW of battery installed) .
          Very reasonable. I cant get a battery until my 44c feed in tariff contract expires in 4 years but will be looking at Sonnen when it does.

          • Isn’t a full cycle a charge and discharge? 10,000 cycles would take 27 years if you fully cycled it every day. Lets assume 5,000 cycles (13.5 years) as a more practical life. $1,000/kWh divided by 5,000 cycles is $0.20 per kWh for capital payback. The point of the battery is to soak up solar in the day and avoid taking power from the grid at night. AGL solar savers in QLD charges about $0.28 for usage and gives $0.05 for FIT (after the first 14kWh per day). Difference is $0.23. There’s about 10% loss in charge and discharge so the benefit is reduced to $0.21. That’s enough to pay back the battery in its life (ignoring NPV effects of paying out all the cash up front and assuming nothing changes in the power pricing in future)

    • Ive looked into Amber and the 15c each way network charge kills its ability to generate any significant gains for me. Im in the Hunter NSW region, I imagine its much different in South Australia where negative events happen much more regularly.

    • Josh Mylne says

      I’d love to, but Amber Electric is not available in WA.

      “Amber is now available throughout VIC, NSW, SA, SE QLD, and ACT to customers in the following networks …”

      https://help.amber.com.au/hc/en-us/articles/360046936792-Is-Amber-available-to-my-specific-location-and-building-type

  5. House space heating is a large energy consumer, especially for homes built some decades ago when insulation was not such a ‘hot’ topic. Retrofitting energy in-efficient homes would need to be factored into a pay-back model.

    House cooling is addressed in the article, and is simpler to achieve with solar self-consumption.

    The east facing and west facing panels ought to figure much more in solar system design as it’s in the mornings and evenings that households necessarily consume power; during the day consumption is less strictly tied to set times – i.e. can be varied.

    Over the years, the emphasis has changed from system payback modelling to self consumption modelling. More attention however is needed on ways to consume less (of everything actually).

    A ‘new’ issue is appearing – energy reliability. During ’emergencies” – storms, floods, fires, etc., power will be lost or simply turned off. And the power outage periods are becoming longer due to the myriad of check-boxes that need to be ticked for ‘safety’ factors. Solar design needs to address the issue of self-reliance so that at all times households can use the solar energy being produced.

    Really speaking, there appears to be no service – 000, telephone including cellular, nbn (which acronym means “no bloody network” apparently), power, water, police, fire-fighting, …. – that can be relied upon. These services may, or may not, be available. We must adapt to and incorporate a self-reliance model.

    Good story and case study. And good luck. We all can do with that.

  6. As someone who’s ordered a Tesla, I find Mylene family’s example of EV ownership a bit incomplete. With the average age of Aussie car ownership being 10 years, surely this number won’t be applicable for EVs? I’ll be very happy if my Tesla lasts 10 years

    • Why only ten years?
      I know of two Model 3s PERSONALLY with over 250k kilometres.
      There is also a guy (that I don’t know personally) in Byron Bay with over 600k on his Model S.

      • Robert Cruikshank says

        And very little servicing. I had a model 3 for 4 years and replace the tyres only. No other servicing required. No oil changes, no brake pads or rotors etc.

        When I see the Toyota add on TV where the bloke’s holding his kid and getting the keys back after a service and being surprised at no cost I think “if only he knew”.

    • Kim Wainwright says

      Hi Bharah. According to the last census the average age of a registered vehicle in Australia was 10.6 years.
      https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/industry/tourism-and-transport/motor-vehicle-census-australia/latest-release
      Why wouldn’t this number be applicable for EVs, or any other type of registered vehicle? If you need to change your vehicle, you need to change your vehicle. EVs don’t get to be in a special class in the context of this calculation.

      • I struggle to see how the average age of a motor vehicle is relevant to the value calculation.

        What we need to know is how much will an EV be worth after 10 years and how much will an ICE car be worth after 10 years. At this early stage it is difficult to predict with any certainty, but if an EV battery capacity is badly degraded after 10 years, the car will likely be close to worthless unless aftermarket battery replacements become economical, which I doubt.

        On the other hand, considering the average car age is 10.6 years, there must be a lot of 21 year old ICE cars still going, so still worth a considerable amount at the 10 year mark.

  7. Operating costs for our new(ish) EV (MG4) are about half that for our old ICEV (MkV Golf TDI). While home charging from solar is cheap, 1/3rd of our consumption is DC fast charging and per km it’s more expensive than diesel.

    Unless you can mostly charge from home (or at work) using solar PV or off-peak energy, the case for EVs to save money is pretty weak. For that you need off-street parking and to own the residence, or at least have permission for an EVSE to be installed.

    • Les in Adelaide SA says

      My thoughts on an EV at this stage is the same, a small EV for suburban use, and only charge from home solar or very cheap off peak (such as in SA the EV night saver 8c rate for 0000 – 0600).

      PEHV appeal to me more right now, best of both worlds for around town and for longer country / interstate drives.
      We don’t want 2 vehicles and all the associated costs with that.

      For now, I’m considering a hybrid (non plug in) Camry, Rav4, or even a Corolla, just to get the benefits of regen braking / one pedal driving.
      I’d really like to go PEHV though, if the right one comes up, take advantage of the new solar and cheap tariff charging.

      Pure EVs . . . not until the market sorts out either much better battery tech / ranges, and / or greater quantities of fast charging infrastructure, more reliable charging infrastructure, grid capability in more remote areas of travel, and the likes.

  8. This is an interesting article but no mention is made about the cost of home heating. Given that Josh’s home is very well designed and manages to be passively heated all winter with solar input plus the 4 occupants things make sense. But it should be acknowledged and maybe the additional construction cost for the house at least mentioned if not quantified.
    I am all in favour of solar systems but if articles are presented on the Solar Quotes Web site with the object of encouraging people to maybe try and emulate Josh’s success it is important that all the facts are presented.
    Home heating in Perth is a real cost for about two and a half months and a significant cost for almost ALL houses except for a tiny minority of well constructed new houses.

    • Josh Mylne says

      RE: home heating, we don’t really heat it at all. I don’t think our house is especially well constructed or new (1980s I think). In winter we just close the house up well and wear more clothes. Although our reverse cycle aircon can heat, I don’t think at any point last winter did we use it for heating? Maybe once or twice briefly? The central living room seems warmed enough from 4-person activity and it’s nice to sleep rugged up in cold rooms? I know all houses are different, but that’s our n=1 experience anyway?

    • Josh, Thanks for the update. I asked you the same question after your first article quite some time back and your set up was evolving and you did not have a lot of data re heating.
      It is interesting to hear how you and the family managed through a complete winter.
      Also thanks for mentioning the age of your home you must be one of the lucky ones in Perth as many homes ours included were very poorly constructed as regards thermal performance during the 1980s.
      Ian.

  9. Not saying don’t pursue this (I have also), but we don’t do anyone any favours by blithely ignoring the cost of capital. If you had the extra $31k on hand at the start; then you could invest it and get, say, a 9% return in super which is a few thousand per year (and compounding). If you didn’t have the $31k on hand, and therefore had to borrow it, the repayments would be $4.4k per year (using 7% and 10 years). Either way (and whatever numbers you model) it makes a massive hole in the “payback”. If you further take time value of money into account that also works against the “electrify” case where the bulk of the money is spent early. There can be discussions about the residual values of the purchased equipment at the end of ten years and how that may affect the NPV, but I would think all of it would be nearly zero value except perhaps the solar panels may last a bit longer.

  10. The Mylne/Dylne comparison above has one glaring omission, namely the cost of the $30,000 extra upfront cost for the Mylnes. At 5% interest, which is quite achievable today, that $30k would grow to $48,866 in 10yrs. This should show as a $18,866 expense (opportunity cost) for the Mylne family. On these figures the Mylnes would still be (slightly) in front , but not at slightly higher interest rates.
    I have solar and my next vehicle will be an EV and I’m in total support of the Mylnes but, please, misrepresenting the costs like this isn’t helpful.

    • Kim Wainwright says

      Hi Vic. Thanks for your observation, however I wouldn’t call it a glaring ommission! As stated in the article “we haven’t considered the many other variables, but you can see the trend.”

      If you want to go down the road of adding opportunity cost to the $31K premium the Mylne family paid for their EV and solar above the $0 paid by the Dylnes then you would also have to apply the opportunity cost to the expenses for both families as well.

      I built a new spreadsheet and added the cumulative opportunity costs for initial outlay and all expenses for both families at 5%. I came up with both families on parity at before the start of the 7th year, with the Dylnes ahead by $18.5K after 10 years.

      So I don’t think I’ve misrepresented the costs as you said. My initial simplified calculation is pretty close for a back of envelope hypothesis trying to put a point across in the context of a 1500 word blog that the average reader would hope to digest.

      Try putting the figures in yourself and see what you come up with.

  11. George Kaplan says

    While interesting this article focuses on averages and hypothetical bogan neighbours. What of those in somewhat different range-energy use paradigms?

    Mylne doesn’t give his mileage but I’m guessing basically city driving, not highway driving, and minimal midtrip refuelling. I’m also guessing limited exports – basically just enough to cover part of his connection fees and charges, maybe a little extra. (The article gives both $447 and $584/year as electricity costs). According to his figures the EV is a better investment within 6 years.

    But is that true for all?

    I export heavily and thus break even some quarters so I’m ahead on the solar front, don’t do gas, don’t pay for fast charging, so the only question is petrol.

    A new Corolla sedan costs about $33,000 while a Corolla Cross costs about $38,000. Bu what does a comparable EV cost? Of 359 models, only about 39 have acceptable range. These start at about $61,000 for a BYD Seal Premium, or $76,000 Tesla Model 3 Long Range with even a 10% increase in range more than doubling the price. Going petrol means a saving of ~$38,000. Assuming $2/litre (even BP is below that at present), and you’re looking at 76,000 litres worth of travel. The Corolla Cross averages 6L/100km (5.1 for Extra Urban), while the Corolla sedan is 5.9L Combined, 4.9L Extra Urban. That translates to roughly 1,266,666 km worth of driving before an EV option breaks even. Frankly you’re likely to need a new car well before then!

    Between the 50% greater range, to the speed and ease of refuelling, to the reliability of ICE, and the safety offered by SUVs (now that so many are opting for SUVs, 4WDs, Utes, American style Pickup Trucks, and ‘Yank Tanks’) the choice to go petrol is beyond easy. And while hydrogen vehicles might be a viable alternative in theory, without models or refuelling options, in practice they’re not.

    ICE FTW! 🙂

    Let the debating begin? 😛

    • Joseph Viviers says

      All is very realistic at this stage and the figures and arguments stack up.
      If we look at the future many companies as already committed to stop ICE by between 2030 and 2035. Also the EU has made a law that by 2040 no diesel or petrol busses or trucks will be operating in the European roads. The quest en then is how much will diesel and petroleum cost and will you be able to replace your ICE vehicle with another.

      The transition will also start faster than 2040 as nothing happens overnight.

      For me the best option is to see the signs listen to what is happening and adjust my life so that I do not get count out with a $5.00 or more per liter fuel Bill.

    • Erik Christiansen says

      George,

      At just under $39k + on-road, the MG4 is almost price-equal with the Corolla Cross, so you’d be in front financially in half a year, when charging from solar?
      Then add a 7 year unlimited km warranty, 24 month service intervals, and no engine oil, on top of the fuel savings. When it’s time to change, best not to stay with old technology rapidly on the way out. Remember horse carts?

      Not since my first car, a Mitsubishi Scorpion, has a new car been so pleasing. Only this time it didn’t cost 1.5 times as much as a Holden Commodore.
      An MG4 or a BYD Dolphin is a cheaper commute wagon than a comparable ICE legacy leftover. Will you be able to afford petrol in 2034?

      But, wait, there’s more: In a couple of years the EVs will be cheaper than the dinosaur burners.

      My recently deceased Ford ute lasted 24 years. The new EV will outlast that, I expect. (LiFePO₄ battery) Coming batteries will last even longer.

      • George Kaplan says

        Erik, many companies offer free or discounted servicing up front. But pay peanuts and get monkeys. New cars getting minimum service by apprentices for years are trading life expectancy for cheapness.

        As for the MG4 or other minimum priced EVs, they simply don’t have the range. My threshold for range is: Base Range +30% (to cover 10 years of shrinkage) >= 2x Trips.

        Yes I’m keeping that ultra-generic, but basically the car needs to be capable of 2 trips in a row without refuelling. What’s the point of an EV after all if you have pay to refuel every time? The MG4 options simply don’t offer enough range for me to be confident of doing so. And remember, most days this week haven’t generated enough power to recharge an EV battery – and that’s with a large system (albeit not as large as yours, so recharging would have to be spread out across most of the week or bought from the grid, in which case why not simply stay petrol which is faster, almost cheaper, and far more reliable?

        Toyota’s hybrid technology is new and could be the best way to go for someone in my position – lots more research to do. It’s efficient, fuel is still cheap (<$2/L), and provides a safe alternative to electricity which is weather and\or grid reliant. It's also far cheaper to insure than an EV – $737.61 vs $989.48 for a Rav 4 2.5L Hybrid Edge v Tesla Model 3 RW Drive which is almost exactly the same price. And a base model Corolla Cross is closer to $600. For someone on $200K that's 0.1%, to someone on $20K a year that's 1% of their income.

        Hydrogen could be an alternative but sadly the Mirai isn't widely available, and refuelling stations are … scarce.

  12. Kim Wilkinson says

    Query about the Electricity cost. Synergy charges about $1 per day for connection to the grid. Is that cost (about $365) included in the $475?

    I switched from ICE to EV about 3.5 years ago and save about $4k in petrol costs and another $1k on serving – drive about 30K kms pa.
    EV cost me $48K and has a range of about 350kms around city, but only 280kms in the country. I think that is an acceptable range, but does require careful planning when driving in the country.

    Kim Wilkinson

    • Josh Mylne says

      Hi Kim,

      Q. “Synergy charges about $1 per day for connection to the grid. Is that cost (about $365) included in the $475?”
      A. Yes, it is included.

      I have never split up costs of (i) kWh imported, (ii) daily supply charge and (iii) sum paid for exports. I only tracked what the electricity bill was each per 2-month period and added it up for the year.

  13. I did not anywhere see, in any spreadsheet or costing, the unknown and unknowable future cost of disposal of any battery, solar panel or any other junked items at end of life, or damage due to weather events. Queensland`s (beloved) ex-premier has already stated publicly that no solar panels will be accepted in Queensland`s landfills. (Let alone highly toxic BATTERIES.) Is this Just oversight, or a case of an Inconvienient Truth?

    MikeMack

    • Erik Christiansen says

      MikeMack,

      EV battery disposal is a VERY convenient truth, and panic-stricken arm waving is just FUD. Shredded to industrial standard “Black Mass” an average EV battery is worth around $2,000 to the seller. We’ll take yours for free, though. 😉
      Snapped up, and already being recycled in countries which have entered the 21st century, they’re worth storing here in the backwaters, until we have enough crashed EVs to make munching worth starting up.

      And no, LiFePO₄ batteries use zero cobalt, so that’s BS (Blind Superstition) as well.

      Solar panels last too long for good recycling quantities to occur naturally just yet, but regulatory interference with re-use of panels cashiered in upgrades is artificially generating early material flows of this valuable non-toxic resource. It’s pretty much only legacy carcinogenic lead batteries which are worryingly toxic. They will disappear on economic grounds, though, without the need for protective regulation, I figure.

    • Anthony Bennett says

      Hi Mike,

      You might be interested to know that now there is some demand, there’s now a plant running in Melbourne called Lotus Energy. They use Australian technology to recycle solar PV without needing any furnace to separate materials.
       
      Unlike coal ash, once you burn coal all you have left is toxic waste, which is still being dumped despite financial incentives offered to try and repurpose material into cement products. 

      And both the Chinese battery industry and Elon Musk/Tesla are actively persuing used batteries. After you’ve taken them from a high performance application like a car and given them a second life as perhaps a house battery… when they’re dead you essentially have high grade ore to make new batteries. 

      “China has even been buying used EV batteries from overseas, Bao Wei, the general manager of Jiangsu Huayou, a recycling unit of Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, said at a forum in Nanjing recently. Bao described the now millions of EVs that are on the roads globally as “moving metal mines.”

      It’s a concept Elon Musk touched on too at Tesla’s annual general meeting on Oct. 7, saying you can think of batteries as “essentially high-grade ore.” “So you can either get your lithium and your nickel and the various constituents of the battery from rocks, or from batteries. It’s much better to get them from batteries,” 

      I hope you find the links informative.

      Cheers

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-10/coal-ash-has-become-one-of-australias-biggest-waste-problems/10886866

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-10-25/china-ev-battery-life-cycle-is-coming-full-circle-with-recycling

      https://www.utilitydive.com/news/ge-announces-first-us-wind-turbine-blade-recycling-program-with-veolia/591869/

      https://www.lotusenergy.io/news-posts/lotus-energy-recycling-plant-opens

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_recycling

      • The purpose of the blog regarding SPREADSHEETING was the fact that not one of them had any reference to the cost of disposal. NO ONE has even mentioned that. Therefore the whole exercise of costing was a non event.

        Coming in later with some lame excuse does not legitimise the spreadsheet.

        Citing Elon the Incredible as a source of Wisdom takes the whole argument into La La Land.

        MikeMack

        • Anthony Bennett says

          Hi Mike,

          Have you had to pay for recycling of an ordinary lead acid cranking battery for your current car? The thing is they go for something like $2/kilo, they have scrap value, and so does the lithium, nickel, copper etc in an EV battery. Right now people will pay for used EV batteries just to repurpose them into house storage. Written off Tesla’s attract a premium because people want them to convert other classic cars.

  14. 2 ICE SUV household here. 1 large SUV (5 yrs old) and other medium SUV currently on novated lease expiring in April.

    You need to talk about Novated leasing. No one I know is buying an EV out of cash. Getting 0 FBT its now becoming a no brainer especially if you are on the top rate of tax (thanks Albo). Paying for an EV which is all pre-tax makes it so much better than an ICE on Novated lease (coming from my last 3 cars which were novated lease ICE).

    Its even cheaper than buying out my lease when it comes due in April for our 3 yr old Subaru Forester. By the time I factor in purchase costs, Rego, insurance and fuel I’m a few hundred dollars ahead each month going with an EV lease. This will be for a BYD Seal premium which is way more luxurious than the 3 yr old Forester.

    Oh I will still be keeping my large SUV for the times I need to put 5 of us in and pack it to the rafters (camping, beach day etc) but I will be driving the EV more because its fun to drive due the kw to weight ratio.

  15. John Csanki says

    I have solar on my house and it has been a wonderful investment in reducing my power bills from huge to very little. However, from what I have seen, heard and read so far about EV’s, I remain unconvinced that they are any sort of credible option for Aussies like me that live in the sticks. For driving around a big city, yeah,ok, but I and many other regional dwellers like me have vast distances to drive to get anywhere and do anything, as well as towing/carrying heavy loads in the process. EV’s, at least in their present form, just won’t do the job needed in those areas.

    • Nic Irving says

      Hi John,

      I have panels and an EV, and I agree with you. While the car drives very well, the range is poor, about 400km, and public fast DC chargers are lacking, especially on routes less travelled. Another factor is the recommended avoidance of charging to more than 80%, which limits range even more. As does use of cabin heating or cooling.

      Until EV’s have much better batteries many people, especially those driving large distances and heavy loads, will not buy them.

      However, the good news is that decent batteries are on the way. Within 15 years or less these should have triple (or more)storage, be half the size and weight (or less) than current, be chargeable in 5-10min from flat to 100%, degrade only 1-2% over their life, and be made from non-exotic, cheaper components.

      I don’t regret buying my car, but I do wish I was young enough to be alive to experience the inevitable breakthroughs in battery design and application.

      • Ian Thompson says

        Sounds like wishful thinking to me?

        Unless you can point to a relevant techology?

        • I don’t use coal generated electricity. My electricity bill for January was -$40 credit. I export stored solar generated energy to the grid when the price is highest and make a profit and charge my car when the grid is green with an abundance of solar. That’s why my car is 95% efficient.

        • Nic Irving says

          Hi Ian,

          Yes, it does seem wishful now, but so did all sorts of technology when it was first being developed. The stakes and rewards are enormous and there are many possible new battery designs. Some, probably most, will not succeed, but changes will, and must, happen. The current (sorry for the pun) batteries, especially for cars and home, are not fit for their purposes.

          There is huge investment in battery research, design, and development at the moment, for example just one company in China has a 1,000 person team working on it.

          A search for “batteries of the future” will produce lots of information. One quick summary is here:

          https://www.pocket-lint.com/gadgets/news/130380-future-batteries-coming-soon-charge-in-seconds-last-months-and-power-over-the-air/

      • George Kaplan says

        Nic, that’s charge to a maximum of 80%, and expect 30% shrinkage over 10 years as well? Doesn’t that mean you need to a buy an 800 Km range EV if you need 450 Km in range before scrapping it after about 10 years?

        While I have heard of a new line of batteries in development, they’re twice the weight (and size?) for the same performance, but cheaper and far far safer. Sodium ion maybe? Not sure I’m remembering that correctly!

        Why not support petrol electric or hydrogen alternatives to EVs? EVs are designed for city driving, but a third of Australia’s population lives outside the 5 main capital cities!

        Seems like there’s those pushing EVs are either deliberately overlooking those who aren’t (inner) city dwellers, or simply incapable of comprehending that city requirements are not universal requirements, and that petrol vehicles offer performance that EVs simply aren’t.

        Is it simply that the EV lobby has far far more money to spend on government, about a quarter of politicians are ‘allergic’ to the word petrol, and country voters are basically ignored?

        • Anthony Bennett says

          Hi George,

          My 2011 year model EV hasn’t done a huge mileage, but has 75% of it’s battery left. When it does get down on range though, I can already buy a new repacked battery developed and built in Brisbane. So instead of scrapping it, I’ll have double the original range and probably still use the factory brake pads going on current rates.

          Also if you have a look around the internet, there’s already a bloke who’s done “the big lap” of Australia in 10 days. If you want to go further and faster you really need two drivers to manage fatigue. I know first hand that if you present a modest range ute or motorcycle to the station owners at places like Nonning or Thurlga or My Ive they’ll gladly move to EVs because solar is cheaper than shipping fuel into the vast interior that 90% of Australians don’t inhabit. Fossils are actually really expensive.

          • Geoff Miell says

            Anthony Bennett: – “Fossils are actually really expensive.

            Petroleum is only going to get more expensive & scarcer, & likely emerging sooner than most people think.

            US shale oil accounted for over 80% of net global oil supply growth last decade (Exhibit 1). Think about that for one second. A handful of counties in Texas, New Mexico, and North Dakota were the overwhelming contributor to global oil supply growth for a full decade.

            https://arjunmurti.substack.com/p/five-big-calls-to-get-right-over

            US ‘conventional’ + offshore oil productions are declining. US tight oil production (excluding the Permian basin) has already peaked. The US Permian basin is the only play that’s likely to show any further growth, but the key questions are:
            a) For how much longer?
            b) How steep will be the decline after the final peak?
            https://twitter.com/aeberman12/status/1741469704458318102
            https://www.artberman.com/blog/bakken-break-even-prices-threaten-profits/

            U.S. shale plays have been the only source of global supply growth for a decade. Markets didn’t react strongly when the Eagle Ford began to decline because Permian supply more than offset the loss. Permian decline will reverberate loudly through global markets when it happens.

            https://www.artberman.com/blog/eagle-ford-shale-a-preview-of-permian-decline/

            Fuel shortages are already wreaking havoc in Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia. At some points in 2023, diesel production was 20% lower than the levels of the 2015-2018 period.
            https://crashoil.blogspot.com/2023/12/the-oil-crash-ano-18.html

            Keep covering your eyes, looking away, singing in the rain so you don’t hear what you don’t like to hear. One day it’s going to blow up in our faces and we shouldn’t be able to say we didn’t know it.

            https://crashoil.blogspot.com/2024/01/el-pico-del-diesel-edicion-de-2023.html

          • George Kaplan says

            Anthony, is it mileage or age that degrades battery performance?

            As regards Nonning or Thurlga or My Ive – yes I had to look them up, they’re about a half days drive from Adelaide so akin to Kalgoorlie to Perth, or Roma to Brisbane.

            While solar is indeed cheaper than shipping fuel into the interior, are EVs actually a better option for them? Extreme cold means EVs run flat really really quickly – range halves at about -15C, while extreme heat causes the battery to degrade years earlier than expected. Hybrids have a similar issue – I think I first read about the problem in a comment about Prius’ in Texas actually. Given the capital cost of an EV, fossil fuels, or hydrogen, could actually be a cheaper option.

          • Geoff Miell says

            George Kaplan: – “Extreme cold means EVs run flat really really quickly – range halves at about -15C…

            Perhaps a problem only in the Snowy Mountains and the central tablelands of Tasmania in deep winter only. I’d suggest most of Australia doesn’t get severely cold (i.e. below -10 °C), unlike it seems in inland central & northern Europe or North America.

            George Kaplan: – “Given the capital cost of an EV, fossil fuels, or hydrogen, could actually be a cheaper option.

            Um… Where would you fill-up your HFCEV here in Australia, George?
            So far, it seems there are not many refilling stations in Australia to choose from:
            https://www.csiro.au/en/maps/Hydrogen-Refuelling-Stations

            Any near you, aye George? None near me.

            HFCEVs:
            * Are significantly more expensive to buy than BEVs, & are still not available to the general public (limited trials only) in Australia;
            * Have up to 50% less energy efficient drivetrain than BEVs to power the wheels.
            https://www.whichcar.com.au/car-advice/hydrogen-cars-v-electric-cars-australia

            Petroleum is only going to get more expensive & scarcer. I’d suggest it will start with diesel fuel soon (shortages reportedly already happening in Latin America, Africa & parts of Asia, but so far not yet arrived here in Australia, or Europe or North America), then followed by aviation fuel, then petrol.
            https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/josh-612-per-year-bills/#comment-1642605

          • George Kaplan says

            Geoff,
            I accept that Australia largely doesn’t get that extreme of cold, but the point stands. In cold weather EV performance drops. In extremely hot weather, of which Australia gets a lot, battery life expectancy drops. Add that EVs remain highly expensive vis-a-vis ICE equivalents, and the ROI is questionable at best.

            Thanks for the CSIRO link. I wasn’t aware there were so many hydrogen stations around the country. The Toyota site actually only lists a Melbourne option. True there’s none in useful range of me, but the local car dealer also said there’s been about 2 EVs sold in the last year or so. Folk here don’t want EVs, and for good reason. Hydrogen if offered might be embraced.

            Your own whichcar article notes EVs remain highly expensive, don’t offer the range of hybrids or PHEV, rely on environmentally contentious materials, public charging is expensive, unreliable, and slow or completely unavailable.

            Here’s a random idea. Why not make it so that the parts of Australia whining about everything and wanting EVs i.e. capital cities, are the ones that legislation targets? Why not support everything outside the cities retaining technology that is affordable, reliable, and effective? EVs are designed for city driving, not for highway driving etc.

          • Geoff Miell says

            George Kaplan: – “Folk here don’t want EVs, and for good reason.

            Folk might have a different attitude when (not if) petroleum fuels become too expensive to run their ICEVs, or perhaps when petroleum fuels, particularly diesel, may even be permanently rationed. Evidence/data I see indicates it’s only a matter of time.

            I’d suggest most folk are ‘energy blind’.
            https://natehagens.substack.com/p/frankly-3-energy-blindness

            George Kaplan: – “Hydrogen if offered might be embraced.

            HFCEVs:
            * are more expensive to buy than BEVs;
            * are more expensive to run than BEVs (energetically & monetarily);
            * have extremely limited hydrogen refueling options currently available here in Australia;
            * currently use scarce and expensive platinum catalyst materials.

            What’s not to embrace, aye George?

        • Robert Cruikshank says

          Basically because every dollar spent on petrol goes overseas to Singapore and hastens the path to more floods, fire, drought while every dollar spent on electricity stays in Australia and retracts from that path.

          Remember significant advancement of today’s solar cell technology was developed by Professor Martin Green at the UNSW’s School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering.

          However there was no interest in commercialising the technology in Australia so his Chinese student Dr. Zhengrong Shi took it to China and the rest is history.

          Hydrogen is simply inefficient and complex to store and transport making it suitable only for niche situations.

          I wish Australians had more foresight and could see the writing on the wall. We need more Tony Seba, less Tony Abbott.

          • Every EV , EV scooter, solar one battery you buy from China supports 100%
            China and it’s military. Thanks to the Chinese communist party aggression,
            we are now forced to increase Australia own military spending inc. 250 billion for a nuclear submarines. So we as Australians do not save anything by buying Chinese products. China now makes 80% of all products for the regenerative economy. Even the Tesla’s are made in China.
            So we really do not know where this goes by buying all this. Then on the other hand our Dollars for every tank of fuel supports perhaps terrorist in the middle east. How did the democratic countries loose all the manufacturing.
            Australia not making EV or batteries and solar or windmills.
            At least America is trying to get it back, but Europe is struggling.
            What does it all help if we end in wars like now and have to support the countries attacked with our tax dollars.

          • Anthony Bennett says

            Hi Michael,

            We could wail and complain or we could do worse than to follow this example. https://electrify2515.org/

            Electrifying everything means we no longer have to spend, or be beholden to extremist theocracies in the middle east.

            Bear in mind that Australia is the world’s largest lithium miner and we developed the PERC cell technology which is now the basis for the vast bulk of the world’s PV solar.

            Sadly John Howard spent 10 x more money on “clean coal” than he did on renewables R&D, and while Holden and the CSIRO developed a hybrid eCommodore in 1998, the LNP diminished us further by cutting the CSIRO and abandoning the car industry (every country that makes cars offers support) so we have alarmingly little diversity in the economy now.

            We can’t compete with cheap labour overseas but seeing as China is busy lifting a billion people out of poverty, using resources we sell them, it might be well that we advocate for higher wages there to make ourselves more competitive. China’s demographics may see them get old before they get rich, so we certainly live in interesting times.

          • George Kaplan says

            Is the 2515 model valid though? 2515 is the northern part of Wollongong (population 280,153) and far from representative of Australia!

            -The region’s median household weekly income is 38.5% above the Australian average
            -41.9% own their home outright versus the Australian average of 31%
            -41.5% work from versus the Australian average of 21%
            -42% of the 15+ population have a Bachelors Degree or above versus the Australian average of 26.3%!
            -Only 36.2% drive to work versus the Australian average of 52.7%
            -Yet 63.1% have 2 or more motor vehicles as compared to the national average of 55.1%

            While your point about extremist theocracies in the Middle East may be valid, the alternative is reliance on Beijing which is a greater threat.

            Is Beijing actually trying to lift a billion people out of poverty? Or is that a semi-accidental consequence of their drive to hegemony? And yes Chinese demographics will doubtless hit old age before wealth, but China’s population pyramid is also the reason many fear war in the near future – by 2050 over 36% of China’s population will be 60+, and a further 13% 50-59. If Xi Jinping wants to ‘reclaim’ India’s Arunachal Pradesh, Japan’s Senkaku Islands, Taiwan, and more, then he needs to do it before population pressures mean Communist China is no longer able to support their military.

            Interesting times ahead : – \

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