Why Your Next Car Should Be An EV

4 common questions SolarQuotes Founder Finn Peacock is asked about his electric car (a Tesla) answered – and Finn explains why buying a new petrol or diesel vehicle now could be an unwise decision.

Transcript begins —

As someone who drives an electric car, I get to have a lot of conversations with strangers about the pros and cons of electric cars. The most common questions I get as I plug my car into the public charger near the SolarQuotes office are these:

“How far can it go before the battery is flat?”

420 kilometres.

“Can you charge it a servo?”

Why would I want to do that? 90% of my charging is done at home. I simply wake up to a fully charged car every morning.

“What car do you use if you want to go on a really long road trip? “

This one  – I can fast charge in half an hour to 40 minutes, and there are fast chargers every 200 kilometres.

“Is it faster than a regular car?”

Yeah, it will destroy a Ford Mustang from the lights. Don’t ask me how I know that.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy A New Petrol/Diesel Car

As you can see, most Aussies see electric cars as a novelty out of reach to the regular person. Not for long. How long do you think it will be before EVs are cheaper than the equivalent ICE – internal combustion engine – car?

Well, a recent online survey found 36% of people think the answer is never. In fact, by just 2025, EVs will be cheaper than ICE cars. Then it is game over for petrol and diesel.

But even before then, how are EV sales going down here in Australia? They are growing exponentially. Last year, EV sales doubled in Australia. If that trend continues, they’ll be 50% of new car sales in just five years.

And how are EV sales doing in the rest of the world? Well, in Norway, they are about 80% of new car sales. In the UK, the best selling car of any type last month was the electric Tesla Model 31.

It seems people really like EVs once they’ve driven one and the momentum of electric cars is now unstoppable.

My advice: hold on to your current car for a few years longer than you might otherwise and make your next car electric. Do not buy a new petrol or diesel car. It’ll be like buying a Blackberry phone in 2007, just before Apple released the iPhone – except with the car you’re going to lose a lot more money.

You can charge your new EV in your driveway from your solar panels for next to nothing.

It will also require almost no servicing. It will accelerate like a rally car and it will last much longer than a petrol car. In 10 years’ time, it will drive as if it were new – electric motors just don’t wear like an engine does.

Not to mention – you’ll no longer be pumping out deadly particulates and warming the planet every time you go to the shops.

— Transcript ends

This segment is from SolarQuotes TV – Episode 10 – The Ultimate Guide To Electric Vehicles. For other SQTV episodes and videos on everything solar energy related, visit the SolarQuotes Youtube channel – and don’t forget to subscribe!

Footnotes

  1. Read SQ’s Ronald’s Tesla Model 3 review here and Tesla Model S review here
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. George Kaplan says

    420 km? Under what conditions?

    As I’ve noted elsewhere, an EV such as a Tesla may claim a range of 350 km, however its real range is dependent on the type of driving done, and climatic conditions. Drive on a highway with weather cold enough to turn the heater on and your range drops to 250 km. Stick to only driving around the city in perfect weather? Then you might get 510 km. That’s a huge difference!!! Thus if you don’t live in the inner city, worse if you live in the country, your performance will be far different and the petrol v EV equation isn’t as simple.

    Note too that most EVs either come from China, or are reliant on China for components and refined materials used in their construction. Should relations with Beijing continue to deteriorate, as is highly probable, sanctions could result in shortages. And that deterioration in relations isn’t Beijing:Australia specific, Beijing:America relations are poor even with Biden in the White House. Should 2024 see Trump re-elected or a peer candidate … : )

    • Geoff Miell says

      George Kaplan,
      You state: “…an EV such as a Tesla may claim a range of 350 km, however its real range is dependent on the type of driving done, and climatic conditions.

      Where do you get “Tesla may claim a range of 350 km” from, George?

      Per Tesla’s latest Range Calculator Reference webpage for their Model 3:
      * Rear-wheel drive variant: _ 556 km (ADR 81/02 NEDC) or 491 km (WLTP)
      * Long range AWD variant: _ 694 km (ADR 81/02 NEDC) or 614 km (WLTP)
      * Performance AWD variant: 628 km (ADR 81/02 NEDC) or 567 km (WLTP)
      https://www.tesla.com/en_AU/support/range-calculator-ref

      Bryce Gaton’s 7 Aug 2019 article in The Driven headlined Why are new electric vehicle range estimates often so different? suggests:

      …By the way: whilst WLTP is closer to ‘real-world’ consumption, WLTP ratings are still up to around 10% too high for Australian conditions…

      https://thedriven.io/2019/08/07/why-are-new-electric-vehicle-range-estimates-often-so-different/

      86% of 491 km is about 422 km.

      George, why do you doubt Finn on his Tesla owner/driver experience on range performance?
      Have you ever experienced being in an EV?

      • I agree with your comments. I have a long range Model 3 and comfortably get 500k from a full charge if I am doing a long trip. I charge at night from the grid at 9.9c /kWh and pump as much as I can in to the grid from my panels during the day and get a FIT of 13c /kWh

      • George Kaplan says

        Geoff, try: https://ev-database.org/car/1320/Tesla-Model-3-Standard-Range-Plus-LFP

        I’m not disputing the range Finn gets, we simply don’t know what sort of driving he does. If it’s mostly city driving in a mild climate then that perfectly accords with the figures in the link above. If he’s doing highway driving in cold, or hot, weather then the figure is on the high side. Without more details that figure simply doesn’t mean anything.

        • Geoff Miell says

          George Kaplan,
          Thanks for the link. The small print for the Real Range data tables in your link includes:

          Indication of real-world range in several situations. Cold weather: ‘worst-case’ based on -10°C and use of heating. Mild weather: ‘best-case’ based on 23°C and no use of A/C. The actual range will depend on speed, style of driving, weather and route conditions.

          I’d suggest there are very few places in Australia that see temperatures consistently anywhere near -10 °C (or lower). Even at Charlotte’s Pass (Kosciusko Chalet), the mean minimum temperature in July is -6.6 °C, with the rare lowest recorded temperature on 29 June 1994 at -23 °C.
          http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_071003_All.shtml

          Indicators I see leads me to be more concerned about an inevitable post- ‘peak oil’/petroleum fuel supply world. See my comment to you at: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/petrol-diesel-electric-cars-mb2082/#comment-1157107

          I’d suggest many people are falsely assuming petroleum fuels will remain affordable and abundant, because that’s all everyone alive today has ever known.

          • George Kaplan says

            While it’s true that -10 is uncommon in Australia, especially year round, the problem is there are also parts of Australia where it is rare to be as low as 23 and not need AC. How does AC use compare to heater use?

            I appreciate you are concerned about running out of petrol, or it becoming unaffordable, but barring political interference driving the price up e.g. America, or foreign militarism cutting access e.g. Beijing, I don’t think most people worry about it.

          • George Kaplan,
            Some studies indicate high temperatures can cut into BEV battery range, but not nearly as much as the cold.
            https://apnews.com/article/04029bd1e0a94cd59ff9540a398c12d1

            I appreciate you are concerned about running out of petrol…

            I’d suggest it’s not about running out. It’s about rapidly diminishing affordability and increasing supply scarcity – IMO, that can be just as disruptive, increasing uncertainty and diminishing business confidence.

            It’s less about political interference – it’s primarily about petroleum geology and resource depletion. All the easy, cheap oil has essentially been extracted and consumed, and the global oil reserves remaining are increasingly more difficult and more costly to extract. Oil prices must go up or oil producers go broke – simples!

            I don’t think most people worry about it.

            Yep, blissfully ignorant of what’s likely coming soon.

  2. If you sells house in which you have I galled solar panels, are you still entitled to subsidies if you instal panels on your new house?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Every new rooftop solar systems receive STCs that lower the cost of solar and is usually referred to as the “solar rebate”. (Its real name is the SRES – Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.) This subsidy is included in the price when you get a quote for solar. In Victoria their state subsidy can be received once per property, provided their conditions are met.

  3. Lyn McDonald says

    Finn,
    I’d love to buy an electric car but I tow a caravan, unladen about 1.2 tonne. My current diesel 4 cylinder 2.0 litre car performs well with the caravan (and much better than the past 6 cylinder petrol 3.6 litre car).

    I guess that a battery car:
    1. Would not be designed mechanically to tow a caravan,
    2. The battery capacity would limit distance to about half towing the van.

    What do you reckon?

  4. Could you do an in-depth episode/article about the present/future use of EVs as a home battery? It would seem to be an economic game changer for both cars and home battery storage if it comes for “free” with your car (or justifies the extra price of an EV). As I understand it, the Nissan Leaf is the only approved option in Aus now, and the upcoming Kias and Hyundais (and others) have the tech baked in. But there is apparently a big hurdle with electricity companies dragging their heels approving the connecting gubbins required to hook up the car battery to the grid (and “approved” devices being massively overpriced). What’s the truth?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      When I have time I should definitely look into how V2G is proceeding in Europe and Japan. I should also look into what China is doing, as that’s something I’d expect them to be onto.

  5. With regards to EVs now – a couple of practical questions.

    1) Can you set the input current/power when charging so that the car does not overload the connection (like your scary motel)? What’s the minimum draw?

    2) So could you (in an emergency) top up an EV via a portable 1-2kW 240v petrol genny? I know an EV will do 99% of my trips, but I do an annual camping trip to a surf site 150km from any charging. Having the (obviously noisy and slow and inefficient, and open to jokes!) option to pump in an extra 50-100 km of dinosaur juice range in a pinch would make it far more practical and less worrisome.

    3) Can you time schedule plugged in charging – so leave the car plugged in, but it only sucks in power when your solar is providing juice.

    4) Any concerns with an EV on gravel roads (apart from the skinny hypermile tyres)?

    • The answers to your questions are
      1 – yes you can scale is right back but around 8A is prob the minimum you would want to use as the “losses” get higher as the Amperage is reduced.
      2 – yes depending on the type of generator
      3 – yes either manually or use Zappi
      4 – Gravel roads are not a problem other than EVs tend to use higher tyre pressures that may result in puncturing.
      Overall, I have owned a Tesla model 3 for four months and will never purchase another ICE vehicle

  6. Reg Watson says

    You watch the Governments around Australia start slapping on taxes to compensate for loss in the fuel tax rip-offs. They do it on anything that could actually save the average Joe some money.

  7. Warren Hinchliffe says

    Whilst I would LOVE a Tesla or something more affordable, going full electric is a problem for me, and I figure many other people too, because following a divorce I had to downsize to a unit, one of 6. I had a long protracted job just getting solar panels for my unit and figure getting a dedicated charge point in my car bay (and linked battery) would be even harder. Plus I was limited to my ‘share’ of roof space for panels so only have 8. Imagine being in a larger multi storey apartment block….not gonna happen.
    If you are in a standalone house, you can go for broke. Apartment living etc is a very different story and I don’t know how ‘society’ will handle the phase out of fossil to renewable, which I support fully, when many people just don’t live in a situation conducive to plug in Teslas and the like.
    Rightly or not, my plan is to buy a hybrid in a few years in preparation for retirement so I am least halfway there so to speak.

  8. Chris Dietzel says

    Well, yes I agree that the ICE is on a downhill trajectory, with EV’s becoming more prevalent. But for us at the grey nomad stage of towing and over vast distances, I doubt that we will be at the point in Oz that a decent network of EV chargers will exist across this vast sealed-and-unsealed road network here, any time soon. Clearly large vans (which is what a lot of us own) with ATM of 3500kg, have any chance at all behind an EV. So, diesel will be with us for some time to come – and if we are into this lifestyle, we’ll have to just bear the cost… It is what it is.

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