EV vs ICE: The cost gap that is holding Australia back

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A new report issued by RACQ has revealed telling figures that could be holding back the adoption of EVs in Australia.

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The Tesla Model X 90D. Credit: Source: Jakob Härter
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The Tesla Model X 90D. Credit: Source: Jakob Härter
The Tesla Model X 90D. Credit: Jakob Härter

The choice to buy an electric car – or not – is for many consumers driven by purchase costs. A new report issued by RACQ has revealed telling figures that could be holding back the adoption of EVs in Australia.

The report, which covers a range of ICE cars sold within Australia as well as the Toyota Prius, BMWi3, Mitsubishi Outlander and Tesla Models S and X, compares purchase costs as well as loan repayments and interest against depreciation in value, plus running costs of registration, insurance, fuel, maintenance/repairs and replacement of tyres.

What stands out is that, in Australia, the high purchase price of  a very limited range of electric vehicles available within Australia leaves them looking rather unattractive when compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts, despite the fact that running costs are generally considerably lower.

Comparing petrol models to electric models based on body type alone, the combined running and purchase costs of the cheapest hatchback – the Suzuki Swift GL – costs the consumer $29,977 over five years. In comparison, the BMW i3 hatch will cost the consumer $76,602 over the same period.

Even a prestige small ICE car such as the Volvo V40 5 door hatch will cost less than a similar BEV counterpart, at $60,239 over five years.

The Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid wagon also fails the five-year test against its ICE equivalent, costing the consumer $67,380 over that period, compared to $54,285.

The only models that are comparable in running costs are the Tesla Model S and X, which naturally share high purchase prices with comparable prestige ICE vehicles – but at $102,564 over five years for the Model S and $107,850 over five years for the Model X, this isn’t much use to the average car buyer.

But of course, it’s not the fuel and servicing costs that make EVs in Australia unaffordable – and this fact is backed up by RACQs figures, which show that the fuel/power costs of ICE vehicles are roughly twice that of EVs.

RACQ electric vehicles running costs 2018

Speaking with Steve Spalding, RACQ’s head of technical and safety policy, he confirms that the real reason behind the price disparity is the higher purchase price of the electric vehicles that are currently available in Australia.

And until automakers introduce affordable electric vehicles to the market that meet the needs of the average consumer, that’s unlikely to change.

“There’s a real need to get alternative fuel options in the market for consumers, not just for those motorists that have a strong green leaning,” Spalding says.

“It’s important that manufacturers are able to put forward products that are affordable and stand on their own merit, without asking consumers to compromise. You can’t ask consumers to make that first step,” he continues.

Spalding illustrates the point with the challenge that fleet managers face when making the decision to go EV instead of staying with running ICE fleets.

The choice of vehicle “has to be functional and stack up financially. It’s the same challenge that consumers have, but not one they might consider so rigorously,” he says.

Once the automakers introduce EVs to the market that fit these requirements, the sales will follow, but it’s up to them to make that happen.

He highlights the case with the example of the electric/petrol hybrid cars, which when they first came onto the market were priced high and as a result were not competitive.

For example, the Toyota Corolla hybrid, which the Japanese car maker worked to bring down in price and now sits at around $2,000 more than it’s petrol equivalent and with fuel usage costs of 5.79c/km compared to 10.5c/km for the ICE model, is an attractive option for the consumer.

As for the argument that dealers are not pushing EVs, Spalding says that unless they have a model on the floor to sell when buyers ask the question, their hands are tied.

Ultimately, guiding the future of the EV market is up to the car manufacturers, and to a lesser extent, governments, says Spalding.

“Governments can help with education as a minimum, charging infrastructure – early things that they can do – but again, we need the products in Australia before the conversation can be had,” he concludes.

Bridie Schmidt is staff writer for www.TheDriven.io, and RenewEconomy.com.au. She specialises in writing about new technology, as well as using her technical skills in managing our websites.

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81 Comments
  1. Brunel 5 months ago

    Legalise grey imports of hybrid cars.

    And avoid demonising hybrid cars that have a 10 kWh battery, such as the 330E and Outlander.

    • Peter 5 months ago

      I totally agree, and yes they many not be affordable for everyone, but for many buyers they are. I love my Outlander PHEV. Last month we did an interstate trip at 8.3L/100km (petrol, no diesel poison required). So far this month around Melbs I’m running at approx 1.5L/100km – all in a family SUV with a heap of luxury and safety add ons. Meanwhile, the values of the person that spends at least $10-15k more for a XC60, GLC, X3/4 with equivalent luxury/safety spec for brand-value only (and maybe diesel fumes for their kids when reversing out the garage) are lost on me. There isn’t a shortage of them and their equivalents being sold. Let alone comparing servicing costs…

      • The_Lorax 5 months ago

        Really? I’ve managed to get high fives and low 6s on a 700km highway run out of my PHEV. Around town I go two months without filling up. Long term average is around 2.5L/100km.

  2. Gyrogordini 5 months ago

    I generally agree with the thrust of the article, and the Corolla example is excellent, notwithstanding the additional complication of a hybrid that isn’t a Plugin Hybrid EV (where the extra complication is mitigated by the actual benefit of EV capability).
    However, comparing an i3 with a Suzuki Swift is plain dumb. Why not compare it with a 1 series BMW, or an A3? It is still a premium vehicle, but with shorter range. The EV will still be more expensive, but the comparison more valid.
    The target has to be around $50k, which is where many “family” and general SUV types are being purchased (not to mention the $50-60k double cab utes, with live axles, leaf springs, tall tyres and 1970s dynamics).
    New $20-30k EVs are probably still 5-10 years away, in Straya.

    • Ian 5 months ago

      The elusive cheap BEV with range is a problem. When you consider the high OEM cost of the battery pack, (at least 2 or 3 years ago, ) and generally the similar size battery you need for a budget vehicle versus a premium vehicle. You can see that the relative cost of the battery is so much higher in the budget car compared with the premium car. A Tesla S can compete with a high end Mercedes or Porche but a Nissan Leaf or a Renault Zoe are just ridiculously more expensive then their equivalent ICE stable-mates.

      Fortunately OEM battery prices have dropped and so BEV models can creep down the luxury ladder. Tesla has been trying to do this with its ‘budget” model 3 offering, but keeping production up and costs down has not been easy for them.

  3. Ken Dyer 5 months ago

    Those in the car industry in Australia are fossil fuelers by default. Exactly the same thing will happen as is happening with coal. However, there is one major difference – EV’s are not subsidised in Australia, apart from some very minor discounts at registration.
    As long as the LNP COALition are in power, EV’s will remain beyond the economic grasp of most Australians.
    Perhaps that is why their is a growing market in EV conversions. I am presently exploring my options to convert my diesel VW Tiguan. I should be able to do it for less than $40000. But with VW releasing new EV’s in 2020, I may not have to.

    • Brunel 5 months ago

      Electric and hybrid cars are exempt from the tax on petrol. That is the subsidy.

      Fans of electric cars need to put in a land tax to fund the roads and footpaths.

      • Betterworld 5 months ago

        Better would be if the gov used the current taxes or made the dirty fuel producers and polluters pay for subsidizing solar charging road projects or stations etc. Policies in place at the moment make it very risky and hard to build the infrustructure of tomorrow and if we keep staying so far behind we will only have our self’s to blame later.

        • MaxG 5 months ago

          Which world are you living in? This is AU, the land of the FF and LNP screwing the public.

          • Betterworld 5 months ago

            true AU is behind the ball as usual however thankfully the world is waking up and realizing slowly but surely that we need to do and to be and to demand better, from banning all plastics to stopping the race to arms and race to depleting natural resources and hurting the planet we have only for material gain the planet will likely find a way to sustain it self we are waking up now to chose to live in peace with it instead of trash it like we have since the industrial rev… It all starts with each and every one of us mate. Peace

        • Marc Jackson 5 months ago

          Solar charging road is a joke, panels at wrong angle the pilot produced only 2 euro in power before catching fire after costing a fortune to repair after it’s huge cost

          • Betterworld 5 months ago

            I guess it takes a few goes to get it right.. People act like combustion engines and patrol stations don’t blow up and have so many problems and issues and they are how many years old now !!

          • Marc Jackson 4 months ago

            The whole thing was a rort, everyone knows putting panels horizontal is wrong cost per square metre of clear protective to drive on, oil lobby having a joke.
            Petrol station don’t blow up, amazingly safe given number.
            Lithium is exothermic gasoline safe unless it had just the right amount of air and huge Ignition energy or 585 Celsius,

            Li-ion cells only achieving 0.5-2% improvement year last decade and that’s been by reducing packaging overhead, polymer insulator 6 microns now, why they’re catching fire and their one quarter the explosive of TNT.

            Ultra lean low temperature combustion eliminating soot particulate emissions and NOx achieving 46-58% thermal efficiency of 12,877 whr kg, vs 185 for Li-ion worlds best cooled pack. Carrying 700+kg cells to move 70 kg human not efficient

      • Ross 5 months ago

        If you have a home with rooftop PV + battery your PHEV can run on sunshine Brunel. Clearly some government gamblers have to come to grips with this so that EV users can support road infrastructure. In the meantime…

        • Marc Jackson 5 months ago

          Not many have the roof large enough to support charging BEV. They use huge amount of power, maybe hybrid motorcycle needing only a few kwh currently being designed using Oz graphene supercaps and Li-ion, Oz innovation Turbulent Jet Ignition for ultra low emissions low temperature ultra lean combustion as used in Formula One and why they have doubled fuel efficiency in last few years currently achieving better than 3 times the efficiency of Motorcycles.

          • Roger Brown 5 months ago

            2018 Zero electric bike has a 14.4kw Battery .

          • Marc Jackson 5 months ago

            How long to charge that, 6.4 kw in 24 panels here and my idle power is 1.7 kw running Data center. Vehicle charging no roof area, hybrid engine running off natural gas cheaper, but that’s using JCCI jet Control compression igniIgni

          • Roger Brown 4 months ago

            2 hours with a 6kw Charger .

      • Charles 5 months ago

        “Exempt from the the tax on petrol”. No. They just don’t use petrol. That’s not the same thing. If a PHEV owner decided to run on 100% petrol they will pay the tax. If an EV decides to charge their EV with a diesel generator they will pay the tax.
        It’s like saying that houses are exempt from luxury car tax. No, they’re just not cars.

        • Catprog 5 months ago

          I think the generator is exempt from the tax (off road use)

      • Ian 5 months ago

        Brunel, why do you hate electric cars so much? BEV are the good guys, ICE is bad.

        I don’t for a moment believe you are promoting disincentives on BEV, but your point about government revenue from petrol and diesel is interesting.

        This has been a very clever tax all these years. It is the difference between the amount overseas oil producers and refiners are willing to sell this product and the price drivers are willing to pay for the same. Imported refined oil products have been so damned cheap that no one has noticed this tax and no one has complained. In fact this bitter medicine has become so acceptable that attitudes seem to be exactly as Brunel portrays in his comment. We must have this yoke, how can we live without this impost on our heads? How will our government survive without this hidden $20 billion drain on our individual resources? This is just Stockholm Syndrome, and we can do without this leachlike behaviour from government.

        In fact this $20 billion a year windfall is most likely the very reason why the government makes almost no attempt to promote emissions free motoring. If the Mafia boss’ son gets a substantial allowance from his father will he question the ethics or origin of this money?

        • Ian 5 months ago

          I’d tried to work out how much revenue the government would get if the $40 billion sent overseas to pay for the liquid fuel bill remained in Australia and circulated over and over until its effect decayed to nothing.

          The concept of a dollar’s circulation life is this: Every time money is spent by individuals or government, some of it goes back into circulation as salaries and some of it exits circulation as a consumerable of some kind. Such as an apple or a lump of coal or a piece of tar or rubber. The money earned as salaries is then taxed and the rest goes back into circulation as it is spent on goods and services.

          To calculate the circulation life of a dollar we can make some assumptions.
          One: every dollar earned is taxed by 27c.
          Two: half of the tax money goes back into circulation as pensions, salaries etc, half is lost to consumerables.
          Three: 50% of ever dollar spent by the public goes to buy a consumable and is lost to circulation.
          Four: : of the remainder, 50 % goes to salaries to produce the goods and service and returns to money circulation.

          Now for the calculations iterating through circulation generations: generation 1 : tax 27 c , of the remainder ,36c returns to circulation directly, 36c goes to consumable items and is lost. Of the 27c tax 1/2 re-enters circulation as salaries and payments of pensions etc and half is lost to consumables ie 13c .
          generation 2: 36c plus 13c =49c from which to tax @ 27% = 13c tax, in a similar way
          generation 3: 49 x .49 =24c which will generate 24 x .27 = 6c tax, generation 4: 24c x .49 = 12c which will generate 12 x .27 = 3c tax , generation 5: 12c x .49 = 6c which will generate6 x .27 = 1.5c tax etc etc to vanishingly small amounts .

          For the life cycle of that dollar entering or staying in the economy you can expect 27c + 13c + 6c + 3c +1.5c = 55c tax out of it.

          Therefore the lifecycle tax from $40 billion not sent overseas on Australia’s fuel bill will be about $22 billion, this is more than the $20 billion fuel excise obtained by removing $40 billion from this country’s economy and letting it enter that of overseas oil countries.

          The assumptions may be way out but the illustration is this: money not sent overseas would circulate and circulate in this economy and would be taxed again and again as it recirculates. This is why a city like Toowoomba can have a bigger economy than the raw materials it gets from its surrounds, millions of office workers can earn a living by never digging up a potato or a gold nugget. Ship out all the raw materials and buy in all the goods and a town remains small and insignificant eg Mt Isa with its mineral resources vs Sydney with its administrative and financial human resource.

          • Ian 5 months ago

            Sorry to keep stressing this point but here is another illustration: a household that buys in its fuel requirements is poorer than a household that gets its energy free from the sun ( other factors being equal of course) . That household can thus afford to be taxed more or help others less fortunate or contribute more to the economy by spending in other ways. The fuel-free household is more robust, stronger and better able to withstand other financial stress. Now multiple this household by 10 or 15 million and you have a much more robust country and economy.

            Are these implications not obvious to everybody?

      • PeterA 5 months ago

        Funny comparison!

        So because I use 20 litres of petrol a quarter, I am dodging the tax?

        What’s the cutoff?

        I can assure you your petrol car is more efficient than a car from 1970, does that mean you are dodging the tax too?

        When do we draw the line of tax dodger vs paying their fair share?

        Right now I produce less CO2 per km driven than you. By about half. Do you currently pay anything for your carbon emissions? Perhaps you are the one being subsidised by my reductionr of CO2 emissions?

        It doesn’t work that way I hear you squeal? There’s no tax on that? I hear you squeal? Welcome to my world.

        • john 5 months ago

          The only fair way to do a road use tax is to use a distance traveled system.
          As most vehicles have a computer on board now it is simple to connect it to a GPS system.
          Or otherwise if you wish go and pay your registration and be charged to download your usage once a year.
          Yes if you use a congested area pay more if you use gravel roads pay less.
          If you drive a vehicle that is not able to do this pay the average for your home address usage.
          Do away with the tax on fuel just pay for use which would mean those who drive a long distance per year are paying for the privilege against those who do not.
          Yes the same outcome for fuel usage I know however not reflected in the millions spent to provide roads for large cities roads against the country cousins driving on gravel roads.

        • Brunel 5 months ago

          I am not saying that you are dodging tax. I am saying that a land tax needs to be put in to fund footpaths and roads and EV fans need to demand a land tax.

      • john 5 months ago

        The users of the freeways do not pay for the cost in any way I remember seeing a study done in the 1970’s which showed build a freeway and you will get ribbon development and you will need to enlarge it exactly what has happened and the users of vehicles have not paid for it tax payers have who never use the system.
        That is the very definition of a subsidy.

      • Ken Dyer 5 months ago

        Given that very little of fuel excise is actually spent on roads, a further land tax impost on owners of EV’s is a stretch.

    • MaxG 5 months ago

      Not sure where the value is in a 40k$ conversion.

      • Ken Dyer 5 months ago

        Cheaper than a Tesla?

        • MaxG 5 months ago

          Well, the Tiguan was 50k$ plus 40k for the mod, and you get a 2016 S for it.
          ?

          • Ken Dyer 5 months ago

            My 2010 Tig is worth about $8000 today.

          • MaxG 5 months ago

            I understand that many details are missing in order for me to comment more appropriately on your situation.
            In any case, I find it non-viable to throw 40k$ after an 8k vehicle. However, I also understand that you may have a different value system which supports your approach.
            Used Teslas are hard to come by in AU; starting close to 100k for a used one.

          • Ken Dyer 5 months ago

            Max my view is perhaps more philosophical than economic. Putting solar panels on your roof involves a similar leap of faith, because payback will not come for some time.

            Similarly, that is the case of DIY EV conversions. I would love to buy a new one, but may, because of economic reasons, do a conversion. I point out however, that the biggest cost is still the battery, and EV prices will continue to drop over time, making them more affordable.

            I note that overseas, Hyundai dropped the price of their Kona EV by a few thousand recently.

          • MaxG 5 months ago

            🙂 What I thought… I had this view on my PV battery system; no care for ROI; the mere fact I do not have this expense for 20 years to come was priceless. More so the middle finger to the leeches 🙂

            Why not import your EV. I am advocating this approach, and have done so with double-glazed windows from Germany, genuine auto parts for half the price from the US, and if I want an EV (or any other car), I will import my next one. I already buy most things outside AU when economical.

          • Roger Brown 5 months ago

            I think you can import a new vehicle from 2019 , IF they don’t import them here in numbers .

  4. Hadtobe 5 months ago

    You need another report to point out the bleeding obvious – electric cars are not selling because they are limited in selection and are too expensive.

  5. john 5 months ago

    Australia has always been the dumping ground for cars or the test area.
    Because at present there are not affordable EV’s on the market of course the sheer cost of buying and EV is going to be a worse outcome.
    As soon as we see a $30,000 vehicle that is going to cost very little to service and very little to power up then a good comparison can be made.
    Perhaps doing a comparison between a Model S and a M Benz of the same cost would show that the Tesla S is cheaper mind at that level of cost who cares.

    • Stephen 5 months ago

      Quick question. Are the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt/Bolt available in Australia? Just wondering why they weren’t part of the article.

      • Giles 5 months ago

        not yet. leaf early 2019, Bolt not sure.

        • tsport100 5 months ago

          GM have no plans to make a RHD Bolt so we won’t see it in Oz although Hyundai Kona EV & 2019 Nissan Leaf + are both Bolt clones with the exact same LG powertrain.

          • Dennis Kavanagh 5 months ago

            I very much doubt if either Nissan or Hyundai would agree that their EVs are Bolt clones.

          • tsport100 5 months ago

            So I guess it’s just some strange coincidence that all three models have major powertrain components with the exact same specs provided by the exact same supplier…

      • john 5 months ago

        As Giles said “Not yet” lets hope the Leaf once again will try to sell one mind my last experience with the Leaf was shall we say pathetic.
        I rang the manager of Nissan Australia and asked him to put me down to buy the Leaf his answer to me was ” What is a Leaf i have never heard of it”

        • Marc Jackson 5 months ago

          Sydney city council have Nissan Leaf vehicles. I’m sure I’ve seen them when walking.
          You notice how hybrid drivers are far more considerate, maybe it’s the regen braking,. Maybe it’s just the person

          • john 5 months ago

            It seems the new Leaf will be available some time in 2019.
            With the a larger battery and lets hope a BMS; battery management system to ensure cooling it may be a good consumer item.
            My comment was historical because it was the very first EV manufactured and the knowledge at that time was shall we say from the top down Islamism.
            Yes Hybrids have been taken up because they are cheaper to run than diesels or petrol vehicles.
            However pure BEV are cheaper still and will become mainstream very shortly just look at what Norway is putting into place zero petrol or diesel cars by 2025.

            Quote from Article.
            https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/25/norways-tesla-popularity-cant-keep-up-with-repairs/

            Norway has a goal to make all new cars sold in the country free of gas/diesel engines by 2025, which means that uncharted territory will become the norm as automakers transition from gas and diesel cars to so many new electric cars.

          • Marc Jackson 5 months ago

            Norway has the temperature to cool cells in developing energy storage for hybrid motorcycle I’ve learned the issues, degradation linked to temperature, the other constraints current/voltage over SOC and internal resistance is lowest between 40-60%. Actual real energy density improvement is slower than internal combustion improvement especially with Oz innovation Turbulent Jet Ignition giving nearly 60% TE. Li-ion cells. 2-3% improvement pa achieved with reducing packaging overhead, and I’m a I.T. electric head who knows my confirmation biases. With clever combustion phasing Controlled ECU algorithms using cylinder pressure sensor and ionisation sensing of radicals applying the same level of software to both IC and EM. ICR is in the lead

      • PeterA 5 months ago

        There was a single shipment of 2013 volts back in 2013. Bought mine second hand ~9 months ago.

        Retail price in 2013 was 65k AUD, which was bonkers money. I paid quite a lot for a 5 year old car (though due to weird shenanigans it still had the new car 3 year warranty – dealer held onto it until 2015 before selling it)

        They couldn’t sell the volts they brought in. I assume because they only had 65k premium models that no one would bother even looking at due to price.

        • john 5 months ago

          The first Leaf was $52,000 and I could purchase it in Japan Europe or the USA for $32,000 in Aussie dollars I am hearing you.
          To get it shipped to au would cost at that time less than $1,000 as a single shipment.

          • butcherbird 5 months ago

            Straya tax

    • MaxG 5 months ago

      Tesla’s S would love to compete in the S-Class market, but it is far from it! … I doubt it ever gets there. (I am a Tesla fan boy).
      No idea what the service cost of a Tesla is, but a Merc will cost you $700+ for an A service (which is due at oil change intervals; either x km or 1 year)… so yes, on cost the Tesla will beat any ICE are for that matter.

  6. phillyc 5 months ago

    My thought is that the price needs to be comparable with maybe a premium of equivalent to 3-5 years worth of fuel savings. For eg $25k ICE and $30-32k BEV.

  7. neroden 5 months ago

    Three words: Tesla Model 3. Probably not reaching Australia until early 2020, though.

    • PeterA 5 months ago

      It will be 70k + in Australian markets.

      Just look at ANY car in Australia and compare to the price if the same vehicle in the USA market.

      They always double usd-aud.

      35k USD car? Ends up 70k aid in Australian market.

      I’m looking forward to it too, but I’m not holding my breath.

  8. Ian 5 months ago

    Two reasons possible for EV being far more expensive than equivalent ICE 1. Either EV is far more expensive to make or 2.EV are priced or marked up far higher than equivalent ICE. Most would suspect that the excuse is reason 1 and the actual truth of the matter is reason 2.

  9. Ryan 5 months ago

    The ptua estimates the cost of roads already vastly exceeds what motorists pay by at least $17 bn per year. https://www.ptua.org.au/myths/petroltax/
    Road pricing or congestion charging seems the logical way to go in future with evs.

    • Brunel 5 months ago

      How does road pricing work in cities where most of the population gets around on a bicycle: Copenhagen, Amsterdam, etc.

      50% of the trips in Vancouver are done without a car.

      We need land tax to fund roads, cycleways, and footpaths.

      • Ryan 5 months ago

        Bicycles don’t damage the roads (or pollute, or injure people, or facilitate obesity) to the same extent that cars do so you want to incentivise bikes over motor vehicles. Road pricing can incentivise preferred forms of transport like bikes, ebikes, walking, scooters, or EVs much more effectively than land tax which would be just another subsidy for motor vehicle use.

        • Brunel 5 months ago

          Of course I want cycleways to be built!

          Springvale Rd is a very wide road where a cycleway can be built but people are calling for electric cars to be worshipped – which means people will still get to the shops/stations/ovals on Springvale Rd by car rather than bicycle – a terrible outcome for obesity and poverty.

          I guess rego should depend on how heavy the car is – a 2 tonne car with 5 seats should have to pay twice as much as a 1 tonne car with 5 seats. Bicycles obviously weigh less than 20 kg and would continue to pay nothing. Lorries should have to pay a fortune – they do in NZ but in corrupt Australia, they pay very little.

  10. Robert Comerford 5 months ago

    One problem, the Toyota Corolla is no more a hybrid than the original Prius. It derives all its energy from fossil fuels. When it has a plug and can do a daily commute off the battery call me back.

    A most disappointing car designed for those who previously bought diesels.

    • Brunel 5 months ago

      The Corolla hybrid will not use any petrol when stopped at the traffic lights. That is a huge step in the correct direction.

  11. Dennis Kavanagh 5 months ago

    Most people do not buy cars on price alone. If we did, we would all be driving around in Corollas (or something similar). What most people do is look for the best value for the features that they want in a car that is within their often predetermined price range.

    This article and many of the comments talk about comparing an “equivalent ICE” to an “equivalent BEV”. However, BEVs are just better than ICE cars in such areas as:
    – smooth acceleration (no gear changes)
    – brisk to rapid acceleration
    – quiet acceleration and cruising
    – less maintenance
    – longer intervals between maintenance
    – the ability to recoup some of the energy expended (regenerative braking)
    – never needing to go to a petrol station to ‘fill-up’ ( just plug in each night on your way out the garage and it’s full the next morning [not a solution for everyone I realise]
    – safer construction (battery packs under floor improves rigidity and lessens roll over susceptibility, more effective front crumple zones ie no engine to protrude into cabin space)
    – less CO2 emissions (as proportion of renewables in our electricity grid increases this benefit increases)
    – less dependence on imported oil
    – etc

    Not everyone will consider all of these factors as being important to them but at least some of them should be. Australians will come to understand the benefits of BEVs when we see more on the road and talk to early adopters about them.

    Then people will be prepared to allocate a value to these benefits and pay a reasonable price for them.
    This will probably all start to happen when the Zoe, Leaf, Model 3 and others arrive here in the next year or so. And sales will escalate quickly and prices will gradually come down due to increased production scale and competition.

    • MaxG 5 months ago

      Not again…
      1. Most people do buy a car on price alone.
      2. hardly anyone cares about the environment (and if they do, they are not prepared to pay double for sh!tbox)
      3. A 44k EV Zoe is NO value proposition compared to a 22k ICE Zoe.

      “And sales will escalate quickly and prices will gradually come down due to increased production scale and competition.”
      Keep on dreaming. The Australia tax is applied to everything we buy in AU, and is the number one reason for the prices in AU. Increased production numbers will do hardly anything for the AU market (other than over time but not), based on numbers purchased in AU.

      I wonder at times what you’re trying to achieve with your posts.

      • Dennis Kavanagh 5 months ago

        I am expressing my opinion just like you are expressing your opinion. I’m trying to promote and be positive about the uptake of electric cars in Australia. Many other countries have cottoned on but some here (like yourself) just don’t seem to get it. I will continue to express my opinion even though you often disagree.

        I disagree with your points 1. and 2.

        As far as I know “The Australian tax” applies equally to every imported car and so there are no differences here between ICE and BEV.

        World wide production scale will bring down prices as will increased competition on prices in Australia.

        • MaxG 5 months ago

          Sure… and I understand of having been a bit aggressive, but I have this BS detector … while I understand pro-motion, I am against twisted facts, which devalue any promotion, thus achieving the opposite.
          While many countries have ‘cottoned on’ as you say: this is Australia, we do not do energy efficient, EURO6, emission trading, RE, neither are we doing EV from a political perspective (let alone leadership).

          Feel free to disagree with anything I said, but my pints 1 and 2 do hold up. As for 1. most people have a certain number of dollars, enter a shop asking what does it buy me… as for 2. while a certain percentage may care about the environment only a minority i prepared to translate their care into dollars spent for the environment.

          Increased competition will have the same effect as it has in the energy market: none! Gas anyone?!

          While the AU tax applies to most things: I encourage other to do what I do, e.g. as I did last week, receiving $1,300 dollars worth of car parts for 600 AUD from the US… or produce my own energy 🙂
          That’s the only thing that worked over the years; while a hope for change in government has done nothing but caused a headache.

          • Dennis Kavanagh 5 months ago

            We don’t need to be “doing EV from a political perspective”. We will do EV from a personal perspective because people will eventually realise that EVs are just better by far than ICE. And they will buy then accordingly. Unless of course the LNP somehow legislates against EVs

            I concede your point 2. but people will pay more for a better featured car if they can afford it.

            Automotive price competition in the Australian market will be difficult since we import all cars. But if the Zoe’s drive away price is about $55,000 and the Model 3 comes in at about $57,000 (for the base model), most people looking to buy an EV will buy a Model 3 being a much better car. Thus Renault will either lower the price of the Zoe or stop selling it.

          • MaxG 5 months ago

            So what is all the talk about AU not having an EV policy? Is this not political? Or more so a political ‘oversight’? Clearly negatively impacting EV consideration let alone uptake?

            Well, we won’t be ‘doing’ EV either; as the tenor is: it is too expensive. It is similar to the myths of (consumer-grade) batteries coming down in price (which has not really happened). A 400Ah 3.2V LiFePO4 cell I bought three years ago is actually 10% more expensive now.

            Also, a Zoe is not a Model 3… nowhere near actually… not in the same league, other than being close in price.

            As I said: I have no issues with the promotion of EVs, which we both seem to have in mind; it is the presentation of (supposedly) facts I have an issue with.

          • Dennis Kavanagh 5 months ago

            Yes some politicians are making outrageous claims against EVs and so will adversely influence the gullible. But I for one do not rely on any politician to tell me what I should or shouldn’t buy. I make my own investigations and act accordingly. And once enough early adopters of EVs do the same and spread the word, I expect a lot more will follow, irrespective of politicians.

            I didn’t say a Zoe was in the same league as a Model 3. I meant that because of this very fact, Renault would have to lower its price or it won’t be able to sell any. And that comparing prices, that is competition, will force prices lower.

          • MaxG 5 months ago

            So… do you drive an EV?

          • Dennis Kavanagh 5 months ago

            I had a Leaf for 3 months in late 2011 as part of the Vic Department of Transport trial. This convinced me that EVs were real and viable. I’ve been waiting ever since for an affordable and compelling one to arrive in Australia. I believe the Model 3 will be that car, assuming Tesla ever gets it here.

          • MaxG 5 months ago

            Alright…
            Wanted a model 3 too, but since it wasn’t available, I bought an ICE last year instead.

          • Dennis Kavanagh 5 months ago

            So did I but only as an interim measure. It’s a reasonably efficient Mazda 2 sedan which I will probably sell when the Model 3 arrives.

          • Roger Brown 5 months ago

            Lithium prices have tripled since then . $40K tonne to Japan (GXY). My Shorai Battery spins up the Honda CB350/4 quickly and weighs less than 1kg and doesn’t spill battery acid over the chrome pipes .

  12. Rob 5 months ago

    Besides purchase price, the ease of charging is also a big issue. If you don’t have off-street parking, finding somewhere to recharge is problematic at the moment. Hopefully that changes in the not too distant future.

  13. phillyc 5 months ago

    Australia imported 32 Billion litres of fuels in 2016. The cost is approximately 60cpl. Basically $19.2B added to our deficit annually. We could add 10-15GW of utility solar installed for that cost.

    • john 5 months ago

      Yes the country should build BEV as soon as possible.

    • MaxG 5 months ago

      You are appealing to common sense; clearly a no-win in AU.

  14. The_Lorax 5 months ago

    There are discounts and incentives available on EVs to Australians. It’s called the Aussie stupidity discount, where EVs and hybrids sit in the car yard for up to two years unable to be sold, so the dealer slashes the price massively to move it. I bought my Outlander PHEV for $30k with 36km on the clock incl. full manufacturer 5 year warranty.

  15. Nick Kemp 5 months ago

    Come on Mr Gupta – there’s a hole in our market that needs to be filled. Aussie EV at family prices

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