SolarQuotes TV Ep. 2 – EV Taxes, Electricity Prices, New Panels + More

Australian governments putting the handbrake on EVs, we meet an Aussie adventurer with a taste for the finer things, South Australia goes from zero to hero with power prices, say hello to what is possibly the most powerful home solar panel to hit the Australian market to date, plus much more in SolarQuotes TV Episode 2!

Episode summary:

This Week In Solar – EVs And A Taxing Situation

0:28 – Some Australian states are to implement a road usage tax on electric vehicles – it’s terrible politics, terrible policy and terrible economics says Finn.

“Australia has the worst electric car uptake in the developed world. If you slug a tax on electric cars, you’re going to reduce that uptake even more.”

Finn notes the road usage taxes are higher than for fuel-efficient petrol or diesel cars.

“So, you’re actually penalising people for driving a car that’s got zero emissions – it’s nuts.”

Finn compares the situation in Australia to Europe where incentives are in place to promote electric vehicle adoption.

Installer Review Of The Week – AG Solar

2:46 – The ginger ninja of reviews, Ned, has chosen customer feedback on AG Solar as the review of the week. The reviewer is very happy with the installation and electricity bill savings the solar power system is providing. While there were some minor issues, AG Solar was quick to rectify them.

“That’s another thing I think that’s really important that shows what a great installer these guys are,” says Ned. “Not every installation is perfect, but what is really important is when companies will come back and fix any issues.”

Ask Finn – Cheap Solar Power Systems

4:28 – $2,699 for a 6.6kW solar power system seems very cheap – too cheap. The old wisdom “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is” applies. Finn explains why you should be wary of cheap solar systems.

​ Ask Finn – Solar Export Issues

5:42 – Winnie had a solar power system installed a year ago and has noticed this year on really hot days, it isn’t exporting anything to the grid. Finn suggests a couple of potential causes.

​ Installer Profile – NRG Solar – Eddy May

6:47 – Eddy May from NRG Solar chats about the history of his business, his advice to solar buyers, his favourite bit of solar kit and more.

Field Test – Keeping Your Beer Cold With Solar

8:43 – Just because you’re roughing it in Australia’s great outdoors, it doesn’t mean you have to do without important creature comforts including cold beer. Finn field tests a small off-grid solar powered setup for this purpose.

Solar Tech – SunPower Maxeon 5 AC Solar Panel

12:44 – Maxeon recently announced the SunPower Maxeon 5 AC Module with factory-integrated microinverter is now available in Australia. This is probably the highest power solar panel specifically for residential applications currently available in Australia, and one of the only AC solar panels available here.

Ronald’s Wrap – Wholesale Electricity Prices Plummet

14:28​ – Renewable energy has been pushing down wholesale electricity prices across the nation. The impact is most noticeable in South Australia where renewables now account for 60% of electricity generation, taking the state from having the highest wholesale electricity prices in Australia to the lowest. Ronald and Finn chat about SA’s stunning turnaround, renewable energy’s role and the outlook for retail electricity prices.

Ronald’s Rap – Cheaper Bills

17:57 – Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Eminem and Jay Z pale beside Ronald’s rapping capabilities.

Finn’ally – Wrap(ping) Up

19:46 – Finn announces the revival of SolarQuotes’ Instagram account – check it out here, and don’t forget to also subscribe to our Youtube channel!

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.


  1. Bruce Giddings says

    Yes, of course it is crazy to use taxation to penalise EV’s, from an environmental viewpoint.

    BUT given that the State budget presently relies in part on the tax raised from fossil fuelled cars, if this disappears through uptake of EV’s, where then will the balance come from?

    Seems to me inevitable that the motorist will pay, just perhaps via a different system of tax.

    • Nope, afraid not. The petrol excise is a federal tax, not a state tax. It might sound like I’m splitting hairs, but this is really actually a money-grubbing exercise by lazy state governments. There has been no evidence from the federal government to show that they will give the states less road upkeep cash because of electric cars.
      This is literally the stupidest thing the Andrews Government has done. Pretty disappointing, tbh. Like I’ve been telling people for years now, let’s talk about taxing electric vehicles when they make up a non-negligible portion of vehicles on the road (~5%, maybe?). Before then, we should be encouraging people to stop polluting as hard as we can.

  2. Des Scahill says

    In principle, its ‘fair’ that EV owners pay ‘something’ towards road maintenance to cover the costs of such things as improvements, deviations, signage, road widening to reduce congestion on highways etc.

    There’s huge outlays involved on a large number of things, not just wear and tear on any existing road surfaces.

    Local councils are also involved too- they are usually responsible for the upkeep of suburban roads within their local area, but not state highways.

    I agree with Mark P though that it makes sense to initially encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in some fashion, until a non-negligible proportion of vehicles is reached.

    There’s lots of potential future issues eg. on any one day, there are thousands of semi-trailers busily transferring household goods, industrial products, grocery products, engineering parts and so forth that have been manufactured in one state, but are also sold in other states. The distances involved are huge.

    I’m just wondering what effects on the electricity grid will be when there’s maybe a future need to recharge batteries on behemoth freight vehicles 24 hours a day;

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