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Powering the electric vehicle revolution

The question of ‘if’ electric vehicles will become mainstream, has changed to ‘when?’

Electric vehicle ownership in Australia is gaining momentum, with 2019 EV sales jumping 203% (admittedly from a pretty low base), and by 2025 it’s expected the price of an EV will match that of a conventional car.

According to the Electric Vehicle Council, the difference in running costs is astronomical. Did you know it only costs $0.33 per litre to run an EV? When compared with the cost of running a car on fuel - around $1.50 per litre prior to the Covid-19 crisis and now averaging 87c per litre* - this is a considerable saving.

Many car manufacturers, such as Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Tesla and Porsche have EV models in market, with many now moving towards making them available in Australia. Many of the carmakers are also setting targets to phase out traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

And we’re seeing more electric and plug-in hybrid models entering the market, with just over 30 different models expected to be available in Australia by the end of 2020.

On the local front
As EVs run purely on battery power and charge up by being plugged into an EV charging point, our grid is going to be essential to the successful take-up of EVs in WA.

As a member of the Electric Vehicle Council and the WA electric vehicle working group, we’re committed to supporting sustainable road transport in WA.

We’re already planning for what that EV future might look like, actively working to understand the short and long-term effect of a widespread rollout of electric vehicles on our network, and how our modular grid future can support them.

We also have 13 plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) in our fleet, which is helping drive the electric vehicle revolution and reduce our emissions in our daily operations.

*as of April 2020 based on average fuel pricing in Perth metro.

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Internationals leading the charge

Compared to the rest of the world though, Australia has some catching up to do.

In 2019, sales of EV’s hit 2.2 per cent of global car sales.

China and the US dominated in terms of overall volume, with Norway has the highest share of EV’s in its national fleet, with Europe as a whole showing strong appetite.

Although electric vehicle sales dropped in early 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, sales still increased in Germany, UK, Netherlands and Sweden. Despite the uncertainty around the pandemic, EV sales are still ahead of those for petrol and diesel cars*.

Plug-ins or hybrids, often seen as the stepping stone to full EV’s, did particularly well in Japan, Sweden and the UK.

Many of those countries have more access to EV models, and at lower prices, with further encouragement through government incentives.

EV take-up in Australia has lagged international counterparts thanks to a mix of reasons, including fewer available models, higher prices, range anxiety and questions about EV charging station infrastructure. However, with lower priced models on their way, the take-up is coming.

Where can you charge up your EV?

You can keep track of EV charging locations, using the free charging station map via the PlugShare app, and on the Electric Vehicle Council website.

Range anxiety is now a state of mind rather than a reality.

There is a growing number of EV charging stations across both metropolitan Perth and regional WA. And with the number of charging stations and most EVs having a range in excess of 200km, you can now go about your daily business, or even safely take a road trip right around Australia, in an EV.

And when you do, the grid will be there, quietly helping to power up our driving future.

* Source: BloombergNEF.