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Electric vehicles: Big energy join big auto to drive Aus EV uptake

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Although bounding ahead on distributed renewables and battery storage, Australia’s uptake of electric vehicles remains stalled, all but going in reverse thanks to a combination of narrow product choice, a lack of emissions standards for vehicles, and few if any incentives for consumers to plug in to the future.

Last year, a total of just 219 fully electric cars were reported as sold throughout Australia last year, compared to 12,000 hybrid vehicles, 363,000-plus diesel vehicles and more than 768,000 petrol fuelled cars.

EV4

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, almost one million electric vehicles are projected to be sold over the next 12 months, with more than $50 billion invested in the industry over the last 10 years.

Clearly, Australia is missing out. But a new industry-led national body established to drive the country’s uptake of electric vehicles – both as the future of automotive transport, and as key components of the future low-carbon, distributed renewables grid – hopes to remedy this.

The Electric Vehicle Council, launched in Canberra on Monday, will represent companies involved in providing, powering and supporting electric vehicles, including those that sell 350,000-plus new vehicles a year in Australia, and have more than 6 million Australian customers.

Members include ActewAGL, AGL Energy, Synergy and TransGrid; car makers Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Tesla and Volkswagen Group; infrastructure and fleet businesses JET Charge and Lennock Fleet; not-for-profit ClimateWorks Australia; project engineering firm ITP Renewables and motoring club Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV).

The Council’s launch is being bolstered by a $390,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, announced on the same day, to further support EV uptake – part of ARENA’s 2017 list of investment priorities, under the banner of energy productivity.

The establishment of the Council and the government grant, while relatively small market offerings, give a welcome nudge to a sector with enormous potential, and potentially enormous economic and environmental benefits.

A recent study by Climate Works found that even using Australia’s currently coal dominated National Electricity Market to charge electric cars does reduce emissions.

And if Australia’s renewable energy target is met, then by 2020, those savings will be greater, and even more so if Australia pursues the “deep carbonisation” that it has signed up for at the Paris climate talks.

“When powered by renewable energy, electric vehicles are zero emission vehicles,” said ClimateWorks Australia’s head of implementation, Scott Ferraro on Monday, a representative of the new Council.

“This will help us meet our emission reduction targets faster and at lower cost, and can reduce impacts from air pollution in our cities,” he said.

Ferraro said the funding from ARENA would support a broader effort to educate and engage Australians about electric vehicles, while also undertaking research on the best policies to drive greater uptake, particularly at the early stages in order to increase model choice and infrastructure.

“The council will also publish a state of electric vehicles report annually so we can monitor progress on the transition of the Australian fleet,” he said.

In terms of support for EV uptake, the federal government has otherwise done very little; as has been the case with renewable energy and climate policy, most of the work so far has been done by the states.

NSW, for example, gave significant attention to electric vehicles as part of a strategic plan launched by the state government last November, to help reach its “zero net emissions” target by 2050.

As we reported at the time, the electric vehicle component of the plan was interesting for its recognition of the “chicken and egg” phenomenon the market is currently experiencing: a lot of latent demand for EVs in the market + not enough supply = high prices.

And the state argued that if government departments were mandated to include electric vehicles in their fleets, this would pave the way for more charging infrastructure, more vehicles on offer and lower costs.

On Monday, at Parliament House, major gentailer AGL Energy made a similar suggestion, having added its weight to the EV Council launch with a commitment to purchase 36 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) to meet its goal of 10 per cent of its business car fleet being electric by mid-2018.

“We are committed to leading the development of distributed energy technologies and are on our way to operating the largest fleet of plug-in vehicles of any Australian business,” said AGL CEO Andy Vesey.

“We encourage Australian governments and companies to meet or better our EV uptake commitment,” he said.

“We also advocate for market and policy reform to help overcome key barriers to encourage people to buy EVs in Australia and enhance their ownership experience. And we recognise the commitment and coordination required across Australia’s emerging EV market to ensure this is achieved.”

AGL – which last year did its bit to boost EV uptake by offering customers a $1 a day “all you can eat” car charging service – also announced, on Monday, a new program offering AGL employees a tailored leasing bundle including the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, AGL Electric Car Plan and home charging solution.

“By partnering with car manufacturers we can harness insights and offer practical solutions to consumers through new products and services they value,” Vesey said.

Behyad Jafari, the Electric Vehicle Council’s chair, used the occasion to stress the significant opportunities presented by the untapped EV market and the need for effective policy levers.

“While the global industry grows exponentially each year, Australia continues to miss out,” Jafari said. “Addressing the barriers preventing the mass uptake of electric vehicles in Australia requires a consistent and collaborative effort across a range of sectors.

“In addition to introducing vehicle emission standards, key policy measures include incentivising electric vehicle purchase in the short term as the technology works to meet price parity through upfront incentives and taxation measures, as well as establishing a recommended roadmap for national public charging infrastructure.

“We welcome others from across industry, consumer groups and government to join the Electric Vehicle Council as we work to build and provide certainty for investment in the Australian electric vehicle industry,” he said.  

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  • George Darroch

    And why should consumers have bought more than 219 vehicles in the last year? None of those manufacturers have produced a mass-market vehicle sold at an appropriate price-point (no more than 25% more than the burner equivalent). Hyundai is the most likely to do well out of that bunch, but their Ioniq is still almost a year away from sale in Australia. GM-olden have their Volt (or is it Bolt?) but are treating it as a compliance car and have no desire to bring it to market in numbers.

    • Wilbur

      The Tesla Model 3 will change everything in Australia next year, and I think will dramatically outsell all other brands in terms of full EV’s.

  • Eb

    Would a modified Tesla S be able to beat the lap record at Bathurst of 2 minutes 6 seconds, (~177.5 kph average)?

    • trackdaze

      You can’t win Le Mans 24 hour without electricity on board. F1 are faster and don’t need to stop for fuel with electrons too so I don’t see why not.

    • George Darroch

      No. The batteries and powertrain are not optimised for full power use over a period of time, its brakes are sufficient for road but not track, and it’s a heavy sedan. A Nio EP9 would very likely take the lap record for a stock production vehicle however.

    • Peter Campbell

      Who cares? Both my far more modest electric cars perform better than most ordinary cars for urban driving.

    • Steven Gannon

      There is a ‘drag race’ at summernats that involves slamming on the brakes at the end, one of the major competitions. This year a Tesla won it. Electric motorcycles are now lapping the Isle of Mann at >200kph average. The world’s oldest motor race, Pikes Peak in the US has been won at least twice by a ‘ low-tech’ electric bike, a 48v Lockheed starter motor. The Bathurst record will fall eventually.

  • George Michaelson

    You missed a word in PHEV. H(ybrid). That Mitsubishi is a hybrid, and it matters because the article tries to be about EV but the vehicle is a Hybrid, not an EV. This is no different to buying staff a prius.

    Love to be corrected, but when I went to the web, thats what I seemed to be told.

    • Wilbur

      No, the Outlander PHEV, it is a plug in EV, but will use the assistance of the petrol engine when the battery is flat. However the battery is only 12 kW so you only get 40 – 50 km on battery only.
      Very different from a Prius where you do not plug it in, and rely only on petrol and braking to charge the battery..

      • George Michaelson

        Thanks. good explanation for the difference. So for trips <50km, and an ability to plug in, you never use fuel? That can work for a lot of things.

        • Wilbur

          You cant go totally without using petrol, as the petrol goes stale, so it will use some just to keep everything going. But if you go outside its range then you use some petrol anyhow. If you put the accelerator to the floor, it will also kick in the petrol engine to give the electric engine extra amps. But yes, with short trips you can go for a long time before putting petrol in the tank.

        • Peter Campbell

          I have two friends with PHEV Outlanders. They manage to do virtually all of their urban driving on 100% electricity. The petrol engine only kicks in if 1) you need the absolute maximum full power from two electric motors and the petrol engine all running together for (say) overtaking up a hill at highway speed, 2) the battery is approaching its maximum discharge so the petrol engine will run to prevent it getting any lower by driving a generator, or 3) the petrol engine has not run for an extended time it will run to move the fluids about and use up the fuel before it gets stale.

    • DugS

      I’ve owned an Outlander PHEV for nearly 2 years. It is a transitional technology vehicle and really the only viable EV in Australia (other than Tesla of course). The battery gets you about 50k’s and then the 2litre petrol engine kicks in. Although a compromise the interface between the ICE and Electric engine is seamless and very cleverly done. While the Outlander is not perfect by a long shot it offers a real way to make a difference to my carbon footprint, the main reason for buying this car.

      • David Mitchell

        I’ll call you on that DugS. I own the Audi A3 etron and it has very similar specs to the Outlander. About 40km on the EV only mode and so I rarely fill up in the city. Great fuel economy on the long trips too due to the hybrid mode. Completely awesome drive.

        I keep seeing this comment about petrol going stale. I’d be very interested to see some actual data (rather than the urban myth) As far as I am aware, the Audi only uses petrol in response to my command, I switch modes or the battery gets to low.

        • Julie May

          I agree, my Audi A3 etron (a PHEV) is lovely to drive and the EV only mode covers most of my city driving. Car stats, at the moment, say I have done 79% of my driving in electric and 21% in petrol, the average fuel consumption for the near 18,000 kms done is 1.7L/100km. I am retired and charge my car in the mornings (it takes 2-2.5 hrs) mostly using power from house solar panels and battery storage, this is emission-free driving! Petrol and electric motors can work together to give a boost of power, so top speed is 222km/h and electric motor accelerates from 0-60km/h in 4.9 seconds.

  • Chris Jones

    When an energy retailer, some car companies and the federal government get together to spend some money, I’m left wondering whether the consumers at the bottom will get the best deal. Let’s hope something productive comes from this, and not the hobnobbing waste we’ve seen from industry lobby groups in the past.

    • Colin

      Both government (local, state and federal) and corporations who run large fleets and replace them every 3 yrs or so could provide a good supply of 2nd hand EVs for the general population.

      • Steven Gannon

        Good idea, there’s always been demand for ex-fleet.

  • DugS

    Ah yes, just what we need, another representative body doing more research into the bleeding obvious. It seems there is another Australian EV organization being launched into oblivion every other month. And while their motivations may be genuine they achieve nothing in terms of advancing the uptake of EV’s in Oz. The evidence of overseas markets is clear- in the absence of a carbon pollution cost incentives are needed. These need to be significant enough to level the purchase cost, recognize the community benefits of pollution free transport and not be used as a political football.
    To say there is inadequate choice is more about the drivers of the offerings. A mandated fuel efficiency standard modeled on the CARB in California would immediately change the landscape and make the Australian market attractive to EV sellers despite the small market size.
    Aussies are well recognized as being technology hungry. Imagine if all those homes with solar panels, soon to have batteries, also had the chance to park the transport revolution in their garage. They would enjoy a sexy tech heavy car, help to reduce carbon pollution, be the envy of their neighbors and get to smoke any ICE car at the lights. Who doesn’t want that dream?

    • Michael Dufty

      There is some small benefit to the general public, as the overpriced EVs companies buy eventually become reasonably priced second hand EVs like mine.

      • Wilbur

        Definitely agree. Until the public wake up that a 2 year old EV battery is still fine, the second market is great. Both mine are second hand.

        • Goldie444

          Agree as well. I have had my Outlander PHEV for 3 years now.
          The battery has lost a few kms in range but still all my daily local driving (about 35kms) is on electrons. What is missing in Australia is the charging infrastructure to form the electric highway.
          I have only ever charged at home. I live in country Victoria (Bendigo) and this vehicle is my only car.

  • howardpatr

    ActewAGL – the company which colludes with the ACT Labor/Greens Government so it is able to pay only 6 cents per kWh for electrity generated on Canberra rooves.

    Be interesting to see how long this rort continues with Victoria moving to 11.5 cents and NSW expected to make a similar change.

  • Michael Dufty

    I’ve heard Synergy are now buying up all the available Nissan Leafs in WA – related?

  • When will we work towards sensible goals rather than fulfilling the marketing generated wet dreams of the consumer culture which only leaves spoilt adult children in its wake? The need in the world is for reduction in energy conversion, not the electric version replacement of excessively powerful, large, comfortable automatic mobile coffins. Australia needs to have a limited range of “white goods” vehicles that are simple, efficient, cheap and locally made – and can be easily owner maintained. Australia has gone from the protected economy model to the exploited hole in the ground model – the clever country never really happened very much in between. Unless feasible-sounding bullshit is actually a valuable ethical resource. The population is https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b77bb447c0b452dfa711924eb018da55f1442ac82d62b05409ba3b0a67b92fa.jpg incompetent in a practical sense to a frightening degree – hence the obsession with safety. If we don’t get actively and responsibly involved in our day to day infrastructure use and management, there will be no point in people existing at all. Just have a country with mines and robots, and get rid of us altogether. just have the robots drive around in Teslas, etc., maybe. Real people can’t afford them anyway, and existing infrastructure can’t fast charge them except in a few locations. Besides, while they run on fossil fuel power, they are very dirty and inefficient. What we need is an integrated, planned transport network with personal luxury / speedy vehicles being the last priority, and renewable power supply the first. This is my electric vehicle – range, 160km, recharged directly from solar panel via 3 x 20 a/h battery, and it has an on-board exercise machine which increases the range with use! And if it were upgraded and equipped for higher speed (to be easier to use with other road users), it would be illegal in the worlds most backward, corrupt industrialised country – Australia!

    • Ian

      The picture of your bicycle may not view on all devices. I can’t view it either. As to your point, the ‘infrastructure’ created by a 100 year old flawed myopic view that the most inefficient and resource intensive mode of transport consumes so much of our tax dollars that we are now poor and getting poorer. Meanwhile we have other countries diverting money to more sustainable transport options.

    • Rod

      Agreed, our e-bike regulations are backward but not unusual. Most of Europe have similar limitations. As far as I know only California has a 750 Watt limit.
      But even that is exceeded by the upgraded version on that motor which has 1000 Watts out of the box.
      IMHO, in the hands of a sensible adult 1000 Watts is a safe limit. They can be speed limited which makes more sense to me.

      • Hi Rod – I am keen for Australia to make efficiency, not luxury and consumer consciousness the first priority – I don’t believe electric push bikes are really safe over 750W, because I have recently ridden 380km on a 4 stroke 50cc motorised bike at 60kph and had two tyre blowouts on that trip. Accessories to handle those loads are not yet mass produced for light vehicles except motorbikes. Those are all marketed for speed and gimmick value, not basic functionality, and thus are bloody expensive. But if legislation was amended, there would be encouragement to design and build vehicles in Australia that could maintain 80kph with suitable hardware and suspension while still only using say 2 or 3kw to achieve that. They could quickly be recharged on any power point in say 4 hours and even be charged straight off solar panels with a $40 buck voltage booster off eBay. The US and Germany produce recumbent trikes which can do that safely, with good suspensions and hydraulic discs (common now on better bicycles) – the technology is all sitting there waiting to be mass produced. But Neanderthal, corrupt, consumer – marketing bullshit driven policies prevent that from happening.

        • Rod

          I’m with you. Give me small, lightweight, efficient and affordable any day over the alternatives on offer currently.
          My first effort at building an e-bike showed the problems with all that extra weight and power on a normal bike. Wider tyres and better brakes have helped a lot!

  • Ian

    EV = battery vehicles. No batteries, no electric cars. The world needs a Sh-t – tonne of batteries – approximately 200 gigafactories worth to replace ICE. Maybe all these companies can club together and build battery factories on Australian soil to get this thing moving, anything less than that is hot air.

    • Steve Brown

      BYD in China has a 10x Gigafactory so….they’re coming. Oh Mercedes has 2x, oh Renault is building a 3x….etc.

      • Ian

        That’s very encouraging, to be sure. Can you provide some more details?

    • Steven Gannon

      There is an Australian group hoping to get a giga-factory up and running AND build smart EV’s. They have built prototypes already. Lofty ambitions, but you never know. I’m sure I read recently that 80+ giga-factories will be needed globally.

      • Has anyone thought that maybe we don’t need 0-100kph in 7 second vehicles, except in our wet dreams? Maybe just a light 3 wheeled utility vehicle that will carry two people at 80kph max is all that’s needed? with a bit of shelter from the weather from an aerodynamically efficient and light shell, and pedals for those who want the exercise. Most people never travel more than two up, and luggage requirements are easy to arrange. I do it already, at 68 I travel with an electric recumbent trike for 300km trips quite regularly, and because the vehicle is so efficient, I can do that with one overnight recharge on the road – and that’s with only 36V and 350W of power. To build vehicles which need huge fossil fuel power supplies for fast charging on the road to refuel is idiotic and wasteful. But our childish, fat, spoiled and selfish consuming culture will not be satisfied until it has self-destructed, it seems.

        • John Saint-Smith

          I think you’re being a bit unfair to the guy who got the EV market you’re so keen to see established excited by the idea of ‘fast’ EVs. Sure, we can’t afford vehicles like that, nor do we need them, but lets be honest, not too many people are prepared to compromise their safety and convenience the way you have.
          Musk has made a start, at least give him credit for that. We ought to behave better but we don’t. We ought to vote Green, but most people think that saving the planet before indulging carbon intensive luxuries is ‘crazy’ socialist tree-hugging stuff. No point complaining, just do something clever that makes people change their behaviour instead of making them shake their heads in wonder at your naivety.

          • Hi – I’m not naive – I am a 68 y.o. living a rural lifestyle 100km from the nearest super market. I produce and maintain all my own infrastructure and charge four electric utility / personal light transport vehicles from solar – and my oldest solar panel is just on 40 years old. I use about 40l of petrol a month, and that includes chainsaws and an old tractor. My point is that the infrastructure to charge those fast vehicles quickly runs on fossil fuels in Australia, so there’s nothing carbon neutral about it. In fact, the reticulation of electricity to remote areas is utterly inefficient – at least 50% resistance losses. Musk has done a great thing, and I am with him – but I cringe at the way these vehicles have to find acceptance with the pathetically irresponsible and suicidally selfish urban consumer. Aren’t you sick of traffic jams yet, even if they won’t stink so much in 2040? Even if you are asleep in your self-drive car as it reduces your quality of life to that of a robotic foetus? I am a very practical person, and that goes to all aspects of life, including my quality of life. Giving is living, watching is not an output, and by 2040 I believe that much of our infrastructure will have been swallowed up by economic system collapse from climate change and the resulting conflicts. And we are doing too little, much too late, and we are treating it all as a remote event unfolding on the infotainment media.

          • John Saint-Smith

            I think you missed the point of my comment. I admire your courage and resilience. But please recognize that the solution to the ‘great human existential crisis’ has to begin with less than the ultimate wholly sustainable lifestyle. Too many people refuse to even think about the crisis which confronts us. When most people look at EVs they are immediately frightened off by ‘range anxiety’. But if they take the plunge and buy an EV, range anxiety suddenly disappears. Tesla owners in Australia – where the distance between power points, let alone ‘fast charging stations’ is truly daunting – amuse themselves by undertaking the most ‘battery challenging’ excursions into the ‘outback’, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest power point. Some even take a petrol powered generator to re-charge their Tesla.

            What Musk has done is to get many more people to try an EV in the first place – not with a hair shirt, but with a silk shirt. Then they become the pioneers who defend their choice of vehicle and make them ‘sexy’.

          • Hi John – I absolutely love what Musk is doing. I watched his videos including the unveiling of the model 3, the cheaper version which still gets to 100kph in under 7 seconds – which is way beyond most people’s reaction time. I hear his strategy and if we had started on this thirty years ago, no worries, it’s brilliant. Range anxiety? – when you have no money to buy fuel, or it is rationed as it was not so long ago, or recharge points have no power to offer, “range anxiety” becomes an issue of substance. And if the urban infra-structure starts to break down due to coastal flooding in major weather anomalies, the range anxiety will be replaced with survival anxiety. Unless we are thoroughly frightened now by really substantial issues instead of being mollycoddled into complaisance by “gradual change”, we will be too anxious too late. And I, like most other people I know, I will never even be able to afford an electric car from the showroom, or second hand, because my financials and the quantity available will never put it in my reach. My 1991 850cc Daihatsu Handi cost me $1800 on the road, and that’s all I can scratch up in a year.

        • Steven Gannon

          I’m happy to hear that you enjoy recreational cycling at your age. I’m no fan of recumbants, mostly for safety reasons and I’ve ridden on the road for over forty years, including racing. I’ve even seen one rear-ended in Newtown. They are a wider vehicle. A Conventional electric bike is legally limited to 250W, is yours road legal? I have found they look cruisy and roll nicely though, bar the hills.

          These new vehicles by their nature produce that acceleration, they build them to replace today’s cars, will increasingly recharge with renewables and be driverless. Why replace the car with hybrid electric bicycles when a carbon neutral road car is achievable? Some of the commuter vehicles will resemble your preferred lifestyle model I’m sure, but why stop there?

          Technology marches on, people do not want to spend anymore time than they have to on the road, they never will. An 80km vehicle will be incompatible with traffic on many roads and intersections.

          Regarding people ejaculating over the need for speed and unwarranted critisims of our “childish, fat, spoilt, and selfish culture”, average people do try to take steps, so do above average people. I don’t agree with your arguments and critisms which have been around forever.

          To call the development of EV’s “idiotic and wasteful”, that’s some weird stuff.

          • The journey is part of the experience. That’s the point about cycling, I suppose. I can spend eight hours riding with a few breaks, and when I get to my destination I feel about 28 instead of 68. When I drive a car, I need to stop after an hour and have a nanna nap – oxygen levels and circulation drop, while still dealing with high stress experience from high risk activity. That’s what I am on about – I need no medication, I need no alcohol or drugs of any kind (except for an occasional coffee) and my fitness level both mental and physical leaves most urban 40 year olds behind. Convenience is an illusion, and luxury is an addiction which leaves us weaker and more dependent. That’s why hospitals and doctors surgeries are bursting at the seams – bad choices, inactive, stressful lives. Also, the average speed of a car in the city is under 12kph when associated inputs are considered as part of travelling time. Bicycles are much faster. I have raced people from super market to distant shops in Bairnsdale, my nearest town, and no car driver has ever been in the next shop before me. On rural roads the maximum speed rises to 20kph. Speed is an illusion and so many journeys are futile attempts at escaping from a poor quality of life in a polluted and stressful environment. The electric car is a great thing – I have four electric vehicles, low budget, home construction or modified bought ones but they are utility vehicles or light personal transport, and they enhance my well being, and that of other people, rather than reduce it. I live off grid on solar/batteries, and my total fossil fuel use including a tiny car and an ancient tractor is about 40l per month – and that includes 200km shopping trips at least once a month. That includes maintaining all infrastructure and 500m of access road on a rural property. I used to be a Melbourne taxi driver until 1982 – I am now living in Paradise by comparison. And the benefit of low cost, simple transport is that pollution levels will drop much more swiftly than waiting for all the less well-paid finally being able to dump the stinky petrol bomb. Besides the maintenance of roads for very high speeds is much more polluting and costly than for more modest use, and the accessories like tyres and hardware last so much longer when not highly stressed, as does people’s health.

        • Ian

          The acceleration of an EV is a by-product of the technology. Electric motors have incredible torque. The battery size is to cater for long trips, although most commutes are actually quite short.

          How do you solve a problem like commuting?
          How do you get to work and home again?
          How do you have an economy without commuting?
          A necessary evil. A single driver car?

          C’mon Kay, Not all of us can live the idyllic life of the semi-retired small-holder.

          • The torque is produced via amps pulled out of the battery, and that requires current which will have to be replaced from re-charging. Less acceleration, more distance between recharges. A 3 kw motor will still enable a good speed in an efficient frame through gearing, although acceleration and hill climbing speed will be less, even with an efficient gearing system such as used on a bicycle. Because the tendency is to upstage or replace the over-powered petrol engined modern car (my first car in 1966 was a Fiat 500, which managed to cruise at 80kph with a 12kw engine). Small 2017 cars are brilliantly designed and engineered, but very complicated. I drive a 1991 Daihatsu Handi, which must be the last car made with a choke knob on the dashboard. The beauty of it is, I can maintain it myself with relative ease compared to the 2017 version. I am looking for the same in an electric vehicle. Re commuting – not a problem with a well designed transport system NOT mostly dependent on the motor car. Our modern cities have actually been designed for motor cars, not for sustainable populations with a good quality of life. Also. most modern “service” jobs can either be done from home PCs or can be done away with – marketing, law, agents, etc., are creating their own employment without any public benefit derived. Expensive occupational therapy for “service” providers, often destructive to the people constantly bombarded with meaningless, contrived nonsense and extra expense. Good organisation and responsible management of the life support system are the first priorities in our 2017 if we want a survivable future in this century. I worked in Melbourne for 16 years and rarely ever went to work in a car, and that includes travelling from McKinnon to Thornbury for my first draughting job. And I went from McKinnon to Elwood every day on a bicycle when I went to school, or I took a bus and a train, or used my feet. Didn’t hurt at all. And if you move to Warragul and work in the city, well, that is a bad choice and bad social management overall, especially if your “work” could just as well be done from home on the net. It seems everybody claims privileges, but few claim responsibilities to anyone but their bank.

  • ROBERT NEILL

    Want a energy policy based on peer reviewed science research evidence and modeling? Vote Green.

    • Ren Stimpy

      Want an energy policy doomed to fail through an extremely poor grasp of politics? Vote Green.

      • ROBERT NEILL

        Want an energy policy doomed to fail through an extremely poor grasp of ? Dont Vote Green.

      • ROBERT NEILL
        • Ren Stimpy

          74 million Didn’t vote
          66 million – Clinton
          63 million – Trump
          5 million – Garry Johnson
          2 million – Jill Stein
          1 million – Evan McMullin

          Wake up.

          • ROBERT NEILL

            Enjoy the future : its Green

            Kind Regards

            Robert W Neill

            sent from my iPhone

          • Ren Stimpy

            Not by wishing it be so.

          • ROBERT NEILL

            The only future for life on earth is green. If not; no future.
            So enjoy the future.

          • Ren Stimpy

            and if we click our shoes together three times and repeat ” there’s no future like green ” 74 million apathetic people and 69 million antipathetic people will suddenly change their intransigent ways and make it happen. Maybe this is all just a dream Toto.

      • Politics is an irrelevant social disease, except for the fact that people actually think it has a viable relationship with anything but value neutral, corrupt behaviour and short-term expedience.

        • Ren Stimpy

          It’s basically just numbers.

  • Steve Brown

    I am a retired engineer. We have 6kW of solar and a Mitsubishi PHEV. Living in Perth we get sun, so petrol free motoring everyday. Our Super provides about 7% RoI on our capital. However, investing in panels and a PHEV give us better than 7% on the $50k invested. The panels give us “free” aircon and “free” motoring. Not really free but it feels like it. We avoid paying $4500 a year in fuel and power. Critics say, “You forgot the depreciation costs” but my previous BMW 1m depreciated much worse…!! Solar and an EV works really well for the 5 million retirees….if only they knew it. Subsidise EV’s instead of more panels…there are plenty of panels aren’t there?

    • GlennM

      Steve,
      You should put together a presentation and start doing talks at retired clubs etc. You can you your own example and tell people how to get a great return on their investment.

  • Marathon-Youth

    It was a big let down to hear Obama’s speech on Global warming followed by he and former First Lady Michelle Obama leaving for an extended vacation in the Tuscan countryside, he creating a gigantic carbon footprint possibly.

    Awaiting the Obamas was a private jet, which was escorted south to Tuscany by six additional military jets.

    After landing in a small airport near Florence, the Obamas transferred to a big SUV—which drove them to a private villa, as part of a 13-car motorcade.

    According to Heat Street, the Obamas emitted a whopping 16 metric tons of carbon just getting to and from Italy to give his climate change speech, which is roughly the same amount that the average American emits in a whole year.

  • Marathon-Youth

    Obama emits 16 metric tons of Carbon just after he makes a speech on Global warming.That is equal to what an average American emits in a year!
    That is hypocrisy at its worst.

    • Ren Stimpy

      Hey at least Obama doesn’t upvote his own comments.

  • Rob

    There is only one thing stopping my wife and I from buying an EV. We have no means of recharging it. We do not have off street parking. There would be thousands of potential EV buyers faced with the same frustration. Yes, EVs could be cheaper and the low number of models and brands available doesn’t help, but I believe the single greatest barrier to EV uptake is the lack of public charging facilities. Most service stations could make room for at least one public fast charger, if not more, and the government could offer incentives for service stations to install them, for eg: make their purchase and installation tax deductible. This also applies to public car parks at shopping centres etc. This would also solve range anxiety if public fast chargers were as common as petrol stations. It could start the service station industry off on what will surely become an inevitable transition from fossil fuels to providing services for EV drivers.
    Regarding the brands and models available why can’t we get models here like the Renault Zoe and Twizy. Why does it take so long? Talk about frustrating. Move yer bloomin arse Australia!